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Birdsong Peanuts Expands Suffolk, Virginia Peanut Shelling Plant

Birdsong Peanuts, a cornerstone company of the state’s peanut industry for more than 100 years, will invest $25.1 million into its peanut shelling facility in the City of Suffolk, Virginia.

The company will refurbish and automate its production lines which will make the facility one of the most modern and efficient of its five shelling plants, according to state officials. In addition, Birdsong is committing to additional growing opportunities for Virginia peanut producers for many years to come.

“Birdsong Peanuts chose to reinvest in Suffolk because our corporate headquarters is here, there is a thriving peanut producer base here, there is good access to domestic and export markets, and also because of the region’s talented workforce,” said Charles Birdsong, President, Birdsong Peanuts.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services worked with the City of Suffolk to secure the project for Virginia. The Governor approved a performance-based grant of $250,000 from the Virginia Investment Performance Grant, an incentive that encourages continued capital investment by existing Virginia companies, as well as a $250,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund to assist the City of Suffolk with the project.

“Birdsong Peanuts helped make the Virginia peanut an iconic product shared around the globe, and we celebrate the company’s continued success and growth in the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “This expansion is a strong testament to the City of Suffolk’s agricultural resources, access, and talent, and we look forward to the next chapter in Birdsong’s 100+-year history in Virginia.”

Birdsong buys carefully selected peanuts directly from the farmers’ fields which are then cleaned, shelled, sized and shipped in truckload lots to manufacturers who turn them into many popular food items, from peanut butter to peanut M&M’s. With the Suffolk location, the company now operates six shelling plants throughout the peanut-growing belt comprising 11 states extending from Virginia to New Mexico. In addition, Birdsong owns extensive cold storage warehouses which enables it to keep products in a protected environment until it’s shipped to the customer.

“The Virginia peanut is perhaps the Commonwealth’s most famous contribution to world cuisine and few families have done more than the Birdsongs in bringing Virginia peanuts to the world,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr. “It is always a cause to celebrate when we see companies make major investments into the infrastructure that supports Virginia’s farmers, but this is especially true when that investment is being made by a homegrown, family-owned business in support of one of our most iconic agricultural products. I thank the Birdsong family for their commitment to the Commonwealth and look forward to their next 100 years of growth and success.”

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