For Immediate Release:
January 8, 2016
Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, (804) 225-4260, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov
| Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Elaine Lidholm, 804.786.7686, Elaine.Lidholm@vdacs.virginia.gov
Governor McAuliffe Announces Agribusiness Expansion, New Jobs in in Frederick County
~Shawnee Canning Company to Double Capacity of Processing Operation; Commits to Purchase Majority of Fruit Needs from Virginia~
RICHMOND - Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that Shawnee Canning Company, a family-owned fruit processor, will invest nearly $500,000 to expand its operation in Frederick County. The company will rehabilitate its cannery, built in 1947, and double production capacity on-site by adding a new filling line for its fruit products. With this expansion, Shawnee Canning Company will create five new jobs and commit to purchase 80 percent – or over 300,000 pounds – of its fruit from Virginia over the next three years.
Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “Shawnee Canning Company is a legend in the Virginia fruit processing industry with decades of rich history. Shawnee has thrived over the years due to its strategic location to key markets, a strong and dedicated workforce, and Virginia’s abundant natural resources, including our world-class apples and peaches. Today, Shawnee is poised to write the next chapter of its story in Frederick County and I’m pleased that my administration could partner with the company as it grows. The investments being made by Shawnee will increase production, create jobs, but further highlight the role that agriculture can and will play in building the new Virginia economy.”
Shawnee made a name for itself with its authentic, high-quality canned peaches. The company also has built a reputation as manufacturers of a vast assortment of products, including jams, jellies, marmalades, fruit butters, ciders, salsa, and canned peaches, which it sells under the Shawnee label and private labels for hundreds of businesses nationwide. Shawnee specializes in quick-turnarounds for smaller runs of private-labeled products to be sold in farm stands across the country. In addition to its processing and manufacturing business, the company owns Shawnee Springs Market, one of the oldest farm markets in northern Virginia.
“In addition to the new investment and jobs being created, Shawnee’s expansion will have a positive impact on Virginia’s apple industry, which is the fourth largest in the United States,” said Todd Haymore, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, who represented the Governor at the Shawnee announcement today. “The company, which itself is family-owned and operated, has demonstrated a strong commitment for sourcing Virginia-grown fruit from local producers to make its world-class products. Shawnee’s expansion will provide new opportunities for the region’s fruit growers and others, thus expanding the economic impact of the company’s investment even further into Virginia.”
Scott Johnson, General Manager of Shawnee Canning Company Inc. stated, “Our expansion is an exciting endeavor that will bring new life to our historic business. We owe all of our success to our world class staff and our customers. It has, and will continue to be, an honor to work with great people who share a mutual appreciation for Virginia agriculture.”
The Commonwealth is partnering with Frederick County and Shawnee Canning Company on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Governor McAuliffe approved a $7,500 grant from the AFID Fund to assist with the project, whichFrederick County is matching with local grant funds.
Frederick County Board of Supervisors’ Chair, Chuck DeHaven commented, “We couldn’t be more excited to support Shawnee Canning in their growth, a company that has given so much to our community over the years and played such an integral part in the rich agricultural and manufacturing history we enjoy today.”
Speaking about the announcement, Senator Jill Vogel, R- Upperville said, “Thanks to Shawnee Canning Company, working in partnership with the Commonwealth and Frederick County, we have another expanding business creating new jobs and Virginia-grown products. I am pleased to be a part of this home-grown company’s expansion in the County.”
Since the beginning of the McAuliffe administration, 560 economic development deals have been closed in Virginia with more than $9.26 billion in capital investment, which is more than any previous governor in the first two years in office.