Monday, October 2, 2023

TFC Poultry to invest $31.5M in Virginia processing plant

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RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has announced that TFC Poultry LLC will invest $31.5 million to establish its second U.S. production facility in Winchester, Va. The company will occupy the former Sunshine’s Pride Dairy facility, where it will specialize in deboning turkey thigh meat for sale to food manufacturers. TFC Poultry is also committing to purchase more than 100 million pounds of Virginia-grown turkey during the next four years.

Virginia successfully competed with West Virginia for the project, which will create 111 new jobs.

“Virginia’s strong agriculture sector continues to play a critical role in the success of our booming economy,” Northam said. “We are pleased the company has chosen to establish its first East Coast facility right here in Virginia, and we look forward to all of its success in the future.”

TFC Poultry was founded in 2008 by brothers Darrin and Trent Froemming after they purchased and remodeled a local shuttered poultry plant in Ashby, Minn. The company uses specialized proprietary technology, along with X-ray and metal detection, for the safe and efficient deboning of turkey thighs. As the only third-party operation of its kind in the U.S., TFC Poultry has experienced increased demand for its products due to increased domestic demand for dark meat.

“Virginia’s ready access to key markets, favorable business climate, and skilled workforce are highly-attractive assets to agriculture companies like TFC Poultry,” said Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “We thank TFC for its investment, and we are committed to supporting the company as it grows its East Coast footprint.”

“A family and innovation-centered company like TFC Poultry will find itself right at home in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, the birthplace of the modern turkey industry,” said Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “I am thrilled to see new investment and the application of new processing technologies in our poultry industry. By building on our history while also looking to our future, we can help secure prosperity for another generation of Virginia’s poultry growers.”

“The company narrowed to this region due to the great access it offers to the I-81 corridor and to some of our key customers and suppliers,” said Darrin Froemming, CEO of TFC Poultry. “We specifically chose Winchester, Virginia due to two primary factors: the first was the availability of all ranges of talent and that talent’s proximity to the new location; and the second reason was the embracing of progress the city demonstrated to the company throughout its due diligence stage. No other community held such an aggressive, yet genuinely welcoming reception.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Winchester and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to secure the project for Virginia. Northam approved a $500,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund and a $400,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund to assist the City of Winchester with the project. TFC Poultry is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

Support for the company’s job creation will be provided through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a workforce initiative created by VEDP in collaboration with the Virginia Community College System and other higher education partners, with funding support from the Northam administration and the Virginia General Assembly. Launched in 2019, the program accelerates new facility start-ups through the direct delivery of recruitment and training services that are fully customized to a company’s unique products, processes, equipment, standards, and culture. All program services are provided at no cost to qualified new and expanding companies as an incentive for job creation.

“The City of Winchester is proud to have been chosen for the site of TFC Poultry’s expansion project,” said Winchester Mayor John David Smith. “The Winchester community and TFC are truly a perfect match, and we are excited to be a part of the Froemming family’s future.”

“We are delighted that TFC Poultry has committed to invest in building its operation in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and especially excited by its decision to locate to Winchester,” said state Sen. Jill Vogel. “TFC Poultry has chosen the perfect community for its employees, and we are eager to welcome the company.”

“We are so excited to hear that TFC Poultry will be setting up its business in the City of Winchester,” said state Delegate Bill Wiley. “Not only is the company bringing vital job opportunities and revenue for the area, it is also repurposing a building that has sat dormant for too long. We look forward to having TFC Poultry operational and thriving in the near future.”

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