(FLORHAM PARK, New Jersey) – July 20, 2010 – Nestlé Nutrition is pleased to announce the most significant expansion and re-design of its GERBER facility in Fort Smith, Arkansas since its installation in 1964. The expansion will generate an anticipated 50 local full-time jobs, plus potential incremental demand for local contractors during the construction period.
“Creating shared value is an important principle at Nestlé, and we are proud to continue to support and encourage growth within the Fort Smith community,” said Kurt Schmidt, CEO of Nestlé Nutrition North America. Earlier this year, Nestlé completed another expansion project at the Gerber Life facility in Fremont, Michigan, adding a call center that will lead to an additional180 jobs over the next five years.
News of the decision to expand has been welcomed in the community and the state.
Governor Mike Beebe said, “This expansion by Gerber illustrates the continued revival and growth of manufacturing in Fort Smith. It is the continued success of respected companies like Nestlé that will show other prospective businesses the benefits of locating in Sebastian County.”
“Gerber has been a strong corporate citizen in Fort Smith for many years,” John McFarland, chairman of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce board, added. “I thank the company for its commitment to doing business and growing in Fort Smith. I look forward to Gerber’s continued success.”
Construction to add an additional GERBER® cereal manufacturing line to the approximately 900,000-square-foot plant is scheduled to begin immediately. Additionally, renovations will be made that support continuous operational improvement and increase production capacity. The Fort Smith site produces a range of GERBER® products including 1st Foods®, 2nd Foods® and 3rd Foods® purees in plastic and glass containers, GERBER® GRADUATES® Meat Sticks® and GERBER® infant cereals.
Patrick Murray, Gerber’s Fort Smith plant manager, has been working with the company for four years. “This investment is truly a testament to the hard work and commitment of our employees,” Murray said.
The expansion project is scheduled to be completed by September 2012.
The Gerber Fort Smith production plant is located at 4301 Harriet Avenue and currently provides employment to more than 650 people in the area.
About Nestlé Nutrition and Gerber
Nestlé Nutrition, part of Nestlé S.A., a world leader in nutrition, health and wellness is dedicated to infant nutrition, healthcare nutrition, and performance nutrition and weight management. Gerber Products Company, founded in 1928, officially joined the Nestlé family on September 1, 2007. Nestlé and Gerber’s combined resources and scientific research expertise have enabled the company to become a worldwide leader in early childhood nutrition. Gerber produces more than 200 food products, all of which are a part of Nestlé’s proprietary Start Healthy, Stay Healthy™ integrated nutrition system. Start Healthy, Stay Healthy™ combines products, educational resources and services that are designed to encourage the early establishment of healthy eating habits in children from birth to preschool.
For more information on Nestlé Nutrition, Gerber and GOOD START Infant Formulas, visit www.gerber.com.
All trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland.