For Immediate Release: October 18, 2017
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov | Virginia Economic Development Partnership: Suzanne Clark, (804) 545-5806, Sclark@yesvirginia.org | DanoneWave: Michael Neuwirth, (914) 872-8708, michael.neuwirth@danone.com

Governor McAuliffe Announces Up to $60 Million Investment in Rockingham County

~DanoneWave to expand plant-based beverage manufacturing operation, create up to 49 new jobs~

 

RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that DanoneWave, the newly combined business unit of the U.S. dairy operation of global food company Danone and legacy WhiteWave Foods, will invest up to $60 million in its plant-based beverage manufacturing operation in Rockingham County. The company will add new production capacity and expand its warehouse at the Mt. Crawford facility. Virginia successfully competed against Pennsylvania for the project, which is expected to create up to 49 new jobs.

We are thrilled to carry on Virginia’s 30 year corporate partnership with legacy WhiteWave Foods to DanoneWave, and look forward to the company’s next chapter in Rockingham County as it expands its product portfolio,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The Shenandoah Valley has emerged as a hub in the food and beverage manufacturing industry, and growing this critical sector is an important part of our efforts to diversify and build the new Virginia economy. The Commonwealth is proud that our existing businesses continue to reinvest and expand their global footprints from Virginia, and we are honored to boast DanoneWave on our corporate roster.”

DanoneWave’s decision to expand at the Mt. Crawford facility, which employs more than 500 Virginians, is a big win for Rockingham County, the region, and the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “Virginia employs over 35,000 in the food processing sector, and the impact of this thriving industry cannot be overstated. We thank DanoneWave for this significant investment and for supporting the growth of food and beverage in Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley.”

DanoneWave is a business unit of Danone and operates from headquarter offices in White Plains, New York and Broomfield, Colorado. DanoneWave was formed following the acquisition of WhiteWave Foods by Danone, bringing together two purpose-driven, health-focused and high-growth companies. DanoneWave is the largest public benefit corporation in the U.S. and its ambition is to produce healthful dairy, plant-based products and coffee creamers and beverages, create economic and social value and nurture natural ecosystems through sustainable agriculture. Its portfolio of brands include: Activia, DanActive, Danimals, Dannon, Danonino, Danone, Earthbound Farm, Horizon Organic premium dairy products, International Delight coffee creamers and iced coffee, Light & Fit, Oikos Greek yogurt, Silk plant-based foods and beverages, So Delicious Dairy Free, Vega and Wallaby Organic.

“Our success as a business is integrally linked to the ecosystem in which we operate and we are grateful to Virginia, the Governor, his extended team, and everyone in Rockingham County for being so encouraging and for providing such a productive environment,” said Dan Poland, Chief Supply Chain Officer for DanoneWave.  “With the support of our employees, business partners and the community at large, including the Commonwealth, we are able to provide better-for-you food and beverage choices.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Rockingham County and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. DanoneWave will receive a $700,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership (VIP) program, an incentive available to existing companies, to assist the County with the project. The company will also be eligible to receive sales and use tax exemptions on manufacturing equipment. Additional funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“Rockingham County is the largest agricultural producer in the Commonwealth of Virginia and DanoneWave’s expansion in Mt Crawford is a fitting tribute to this heritage,” said Rick Chandler, Chairman of the Rockingham Board of Supervisors. “We have a long history with the company and share a common goal of sustaining agriculture for the benefit of healthier lives. We thank DanoneWave for its continued confidence in our community, people and culture.”

Recognizing the state and local efforts to promote this expansion, Senator Emmett Hanger added, “This plant has evolved over the years and continues to provide a strong skilled workforce in the food and beverage industry.  The performance-based grants offered by the Commonwealth will help strengthen the economic growth and provide for additional jobs and opportunities here in the Valley.”     

“Congratulations to DanoneWave on its increased production capacity and expansion of its warehouse at the Mt. Crawford facility,” said Delegate Steven Landes. “We welcome DanoneWave’s investment in its plant-based beverage manufacturing operation in Rockingham County and the addition of jobs that will accompany it. Rockingham County is the heart of agricultural production in the Commonwealth and it’s great to see that tradition continue to prosper.”

For more information about DanoneWave, please visit Danone.com.

 

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