Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced OFD Foods, LLC, a leading supplier of freeze-dried food for the United States military, will expand its operations for the first time in New York State. The company has selected Henrietta in Monroe County to build a new 50,000-square-foot facility to better serve its Midwest and East Coast customer base. The new plant, which is expected to result in the creation of 30 full-time jobs, will focus on providing contract freeze-drying services in bulk industrial packaging.
"OFD Foods' expansion will help further strengthen this region's manufacturing sector and continue to build on the Finger Lakes' economic momentum," Governor Cuomo said. "With the addition of this new facility, we look forward to the company's continued success in the global foods market, creation of new jobs in Monroe County, and increased economic activity throughout the region to continue moving the Finger Lakes forward."
As the world's largest custom processor of freeze-dried products, OFD Foods, LLC, produces its own food brands, including Mountain House and Easy Meal, for the Emergency Preparedness, Adventure Meal™, and Disaster Recovery markets. OFD Foods is also the leading supplier of freeze-dried food to the United States Military, consumer packaged goods, private food labels, pharmaceuticals, and provides services and ingredients to major food manufacturers.
In order to encourage OFD Foods to construct their $25 million manufacturing facility in New York’s Finger Lakes region, Empire State Development is providing up to $400,000 in Upstate Revitalization Initiative grant funds.
Headquartered in Albany, Oregon, OFD Foods, LLC is a leader in the breadth of uses for adapting freeze-drying technology. In addition to its Oregon facility, the company also has a commercial office in Japan. The shelf life of its products range from three to 30 years, depending on packaging and customer needs.
OFD Foods Senior Vice President of Manufacturing John Damon said, "I was impressed with the communities' pro-business mentality and the availability of high quality, skilled trade training and education opportunities. Both MCC and RIT have great programs, and thanks to the support of Governor Cuomo, we are able to invest in this new facility and our employees for our collective future growth and success."
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "Thanks to Governor Cuomo's leadership, global companies are recognizing that Upstate New York is a great place to do business. The Finger Lakes region has everything that companies like OFD Foods, LLC need to succeed, from an educated workforce to a high overall quality of life."
FLREDC Co-Chairs, Monroe Community College President Anne Kress and Wegmans Food Markets CEO Danny Wegman said, "Supporting projects like this is aligned with the regional council's strategy. We applaud OFD Foods decision to build its new facility here as it will serve to further strengthen the local economy as we continue the work of moving the Finger Lakes Forward."
State Senator Patrick Gallivan said, "This true public-private partnership is an indication that the Finger Lakes region has all the resources necessary for business to succeed, starting with a highly skilled and educated workforce. OFD Foods' commitment to the region and the creation of 30 full-time jobs will have a positive economic impact on Henrietta, Monroe County and all of upstate New York."
State Assembly Member Harry Bronson said, "OFD Foods will provide a vital source of employment and economic opportunity for our community. Their decision to invest in Rochester is a sign that our local economy is on the right track, and our region's Finger Lakes Forward plan is working. I look forward to working with OFD Foods, and helping them build on their investment for years to come."
Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said, "I am proud to welcome OFD Foods to Monroe County. With the creation of 30 full-time jobs in the first phase of the project, Monroe County continues its commitment in partnering with private businesses to create jobs and grow our economy."
Greater Rochester Enterprise President & CEO Mark S. Peterson said, "OFD Foods joins more than 100 food and beverage manufacturers that capitalize on the Greater Rochester, NY region's fully integrated supply chain assets, talented workforce, R & D expertise and natural resources."
OFD Foods will break ground on the new Henrietta plant in April and expects the project to be completed by June 2018. This project supports the Finger Lakes Forward blueprint aimed at stimulating economic growth in the region, and was made possible with support from Monroe County, Greater Rochester Enterprise, and National Grid. For more about OFD Foods, LLC click here.
Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward
Today's announcement complements "Finger Lakes Forward," the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. This initiative is focused on growing jobs, increasing regional wealth, driving private investment and reducing poverty. The State has already invested more than $3.4 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan which includes investing in key industries such as photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in as a result.
The $500 million "Finger Lakes Forward" Upstate Revitalization Initiative announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015 will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.