Governor Mike Pence joined executives from Skjodt-Barrett Foods, a 29-year-old Canadian specialty food manufacturer, in Ontario to announce the company’s plans to expand its U.S. headquarters in Lebanon, Indiana, creating up to 97 new jobs by 2017.
“Job creation in Indiana is on the rise. From Japan and Germany to the United Kingdom and Canada, companies from around the world are discovering the Hoosier State’s pro-growth business climate is key to their success,” said Pence. “While meeting with Skjodt-Barrett’s leadership today in Toronto, they explained how their growing team continues to thrive here in Indiana, a state that works.”
Skjodt-Barrett, which makes baby food, children’s fruit snacks, smoothies, sauces and marinades as well as caramel and fruit fillings, will invest $43.9 million to install new equipment and technologies at its 55-acre campus in the Lebanon Industrial Park. The expansion will house new high speed, high efficiency operating lines, patent-pending technologies, as well as advanced aseptic manufacturing processes unique to North America.
“Indiana has a very favorable business climate, which includes support for continued employee education and training,” said Mike Brannan, general manager of Skjodt-Barrett’s U.S. operations. “The ability to rely on support from the state of Indiana contributes to Skjodt-Barrett’s ability to invest in cutting-edge technologies and expansion opportunities. All of this coupled with the state’s convenient location within one day’s drive of 80 percent of the U.S. population made the choice to invest in Indiana easy.”
Having opened in November 2011, the Lebanon facility is Skjodt-Barrett’s only location outside of Canada. The company employs more than 500 associates, including 325 Hoosiers, in manufacturing sites in both Canada and the United States. Skjodt-Barrett has already begun hiring additional engineering, administration, machine operators, quality control professionals, skilled equipment mechanics and production line employees in Lebanon.
Skjodt-Barrett’s U.S. headquarters manufactures baby food and fruit purees in spouted pouches, distributing its products across North America. After a tornado hit the Lebanon facility in November 2013 and caused more than $18,000,000 in damages, Skjodt-Barrett’s plant was operational again in only 21 days. Skjodt-Barrett largely attributes the rapid recovery to its talented and hardworking Hoosier workforce.
“Skjodt-Barrett Foods has become an essential part of the fabric of Lebanon. Skjodt-Barrett provides good jobs, and gives back to the community,” said Lebanon Mayor Huck Lewis. “The fact that the company has chosen Lebanon as the place to expand its operation, bringing new technology to North America with it, is outstanding. Skjodt-Barrett’s decision to expand here marks a great day for the future of Lebanon.”
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Skjodt-Barrett Contract Packaging LLC up to $550,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $102,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The city of Lebanon will consider additional property tax abatement at the request of the Boone County Economic Development Corporation.
Pence is leading a one-day economic development and jobs mission to Toronto, sharing Indiana’s story as a state that works with Canadian business and government officials. Canada is Indiana’s largest export partner, with the state exporting $11.8 billion in Hoosier-built products to Canada in 2013. Indiana sells more goods to Canada than to the state’s next six largest foreign markets combined.
More information about the governor’s job-hunting trip can be found at www.in.gov/gov/Canada2014.htm.
Skjodt-Barrett Contract Packaging LLC (“Skjodt” is pronounced “Scott”) manufactures organic and non-organic baby food, fruit snacks, fruit smoothies, toppings and adult focused fruit and vegetable puree snacks for a variety of regional and global brand leaders in their respective markets. Skjodt-Barrett Contract Packaging LLC was organized in 2011 to expand operations of Skjodt-Barrett Contract Packaging Inc. and Skjodt-Barrett Foods, both operating in Ontario, Canada. The corporations are privately held by Dan Skjodt, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
In business for 29 years, Skjodt-Barrett Foods is a custom food manufacturer, specializing in the development of caramel, fruit fillings, icing, glazes, fruit sauces, jams, beverage concentrates, and flavored nutritional bar layers for a variety of nutraceutical business partners. Of the approximate 300 products Skjodt-Barrett Foods manufactures, 90% are custom formulations specific to its partners’ application requirements. To learn more visit www.skjodt-barrett.com.
Created in 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is governed by a 12-member board chaired by Governor Mike Pence. Victor Smith serves as the Indiana Secretary of Commerce and Eric Doden is the president of the IEDC.
The IEDC oversees programs enacted by the General Assembly including tax credits, workforce training grants and public infrastructure assistance. All tax credits are performance-based. Therefore, companies must first invest in Indiana through job creation or capital investment before incentives are paid. A company who does not meet its full projections only receives a percentage of the incentives proportional to its actual investment. For more information about IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.