REIDSVILLE — Italian gourmet pet food manufacturer Farmina announced Tuesday that it will build its first North American manufacturing and distribution operation here in 2021.
The family-owned company will begin construction of a facility within the Reidsville Industrial Park next year and plans to create 129 jobs and invest $28,485,000 in real and personal property, economic development officials said during a Zoom news conference Tuesday morning with Farmina's top brass.
North Carolina Department of Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland led the announcement, saying his office helped facilitate the project with a Job Development Investment Grant.
Farmina also received a development grant from Duke Energy and a variety of economic development incentives from the City of Reidsville and Rockingham County.
The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina and Parker Poe Consulting, helped Farmina with the site selection process, Copeland said.
“We are pleased to have Farmina locate their first North American facility in Reidsville,” said Reidsville Mayor Jay Donecker, a veterinarian who said he is enthusiastic about Farmina's organic nutrition-based philosophy.
“Farmina is another addition to a much diversified manufacturing base providing a wide range of jobs and opportunities for our citizens of Reidsville, Rockingham County and the region. During the past five years, Reidsville has made a concerted effort with its county and state partners to attract new industries and assist existing manufacturers grow. This has resulted in the creation of more than 1,500 new jobs here. ... Thank you, Farmina, and welcome to our Team Reidsville community.”
Lucky City is enjoying a lot of attention from international business, economic development officials said.
“Farmina is the fourth company to invest in the Reidsville Industrial Park, adding to the city’s reputation as an international destination for manufacturing and distribution,” said Reidsville Economic Development Director Jeff Garstka.
“Despite dealing with COVID-19, this team of local, state and private sector leaders was able to work carefully with the company to conduct socially distanced site visits, and a lot of virtual meetings to bring the project to fruition. Farmina’s expansion, creating well over 100 new jobs, is a reality despite a struggling global economy,'' Garstka said.
“Farmina is just the latest world-class company to recognize Rockingham County as the perfect place to grow their business,” said N.C. Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham).
“Reidsville has benefited from a number of industrial and manufacturing expansions over the years. Thanks to companies like Farmina, there are good paying jobs available for people here in Rockingham County.”
Farmina will generate an annual payroll of around $6 million, Copeland said during the news conference.
“As a family-owned and operated business, we believe that Reidsville is the perfect fit for our values of quality and continuous innovation, from the workforce to the production technologies. Utilizing ingredients from Europe, Farmina’s North Carolina kitchen will make to order our Natural&Delicious and Vetlife dry nutritional solutions for cats and dogs,” said owner and Farmina Holding CEO Angelo Russo, who with CEO Loris Rinaldi joined the conference from Italy.
"We could like to grow our company in the U.S., in North Carolina,'' Russo said. "We are proud to bring our Italian experience in pet food.''
The company's other manufacturing facilities are located in Sao Paulo; Naples, Italy, and Belgrade.
Farmina was founded more than 50 years ago in Naples as the Russo Mangimi Company, which specialized in animal nutrition.
In 1999, Russo, son of the founder, shifted the company’s focus to development of pet food based on scientific nutrition studies.
Russo collaborated with Farmina, an English company specializing in food research and formulation. Dr. Russo eventually established Farmina Vet Research, a team of veterinarians and nutritional formulation specialists.