LiDestri Foods Inc. of Fairport and British-based G’s Fresh Ltd. partnered to form Love Beets USA, a $17 million, 100,000 square foot, beet processing facility at the LiDestri Foods manufacturing complex inside Eastman Business Park in Rochester, New York.
The joint manufacturing venture, which is scheduled to begin operation in November, will process and package fresh, marinated and organic beets and beet products.
“Love Beets branded products are currently imported from the UK and have gained significant market penetration and media interest since first being introduced in the States in 2011,” said G’s Fresh, Ltd., UK Chairman John Shropshire. “With the accelerating growth of Love Beets, G’s and LiDestri have joined forces to vertically integrate the production of Love Beets in the US, using US grown organic beets, a move that would bring significant logistical cost savings to the brand and new jobs to Rochester.”
“This joint venture represents a very unique and holistic opportunity to develop a vertically integrated supply chain in Western NY, and to bring significant agricultural benefits to the region,” said LiDestri CEO Giovanni LiDestri. “Once established, the relationships to local farmers, access to organic fields and beets, and the subsequent centralized processing of the crop, will not be easily duplicated elsewhere.”
According to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Office, G’s Fresh, which currently produces Love Beets abroad, will invest in the new partnership and leverage LiDestri’s leadership in the food industry to produce its popular product in Rochester and expand distribution throughout the U.S.
Love Beets is slated to create 50 new full time positions by year’s end, increasing to 140 within five years. Additionally, local growers are expected to benefit with sharply higher demand of organic beet crops and opportunity to move their products into new markets and increase sales. Love Beets has a goal of having the majority of its beets sourced by New York State farmers.
“Growing businesses at the Eastman Business Park is a key component to the region’s success and having this international company partnering with a local business is more evidence that Rochester is on the move," Governor Cuomo said. "Not only will this create jobs and economic activity, it will also help support our farmers and reinforce the buy-local movement that is Taste NY. I welcome G's Fresh to New York and congratulate LiDestri's on this new venture."
The economic support and assistance from local and state agencies was a critical factor in locating the Love Beets processing plant in Rochester, the Governor’s Office said. New York State, through Empire State Development, will provide a $1 million capital grant, up to $1.5 million in Excelsior tax credits and a low interest loan.
Empire State Development President/CEO/Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “This project is a big win for the region. With G’s Fresh partnering with Fairport’s own LiDestri Foods, Love Beets products will create processing jobs in the Rochester-area and help regional farmers.”
Greater Rochester Enterprise President Mark Peterson said, “G’s Fresh was drawn to our region’s rich agricultural assets and extensive food processing expertise. They have found an exceptional partner in LiDestri Foods to help accelerate the growth of Love Beets’ entry into the US market.”