Purina Opens 21st Factory in U.S.
Nestlé Purina PetCare Company commemorated the opening of its 21st factory in the U.S. in Hartwell, Ga., to unlock growth potential for the production of Purina brands while making an impact on the local economy.
With a total investment of more than $320 million, the Hartwell factory is Purina’s first new U.S. factory in two decades and represents Nestlé’s single largest investment in a pet care facility in the last decade in the United States, Canada and Latin America. Currently around 200 employees work at the Hartwell facility, and the number will grow to 240 as new lines and other expansions at the site are completed over the next few years. Purina also operates a manufacturing facility in Fairburn, Ga., which employs 350 people.
The company announced its investment in Hartwell in 2017 and began initial operations of a distribution center at the site in spring 2018. The company purchased a long-idled textile facility that it set out to completely remake and rebuild with the installation of modern equipment and technology for high-quality production of trusted Purina brands, including Fancy Feast.
“Nestlé Purina is focused on delivering world-class products and is one of our key growth pillars for Nestlé,” said Laurent Freixe, Nestlé CEO for the Americas. “Purina is in a position of strength for long-term sustainable growth and this investment in Hartwell demonstrates Nestlé’s commitment to continually innovate and shape the future of pet care.”
Purina has made major investments in Hartwell to ensure the company is producing healthy and high-quality products while protecting the environment. The Hartwell factory is using water conservation and treatment methods, aims to be powered by 100 percent renewable electricity in the near future and currently sends zero waste for disposal to traditional landfills, instead utilizing composting, recycling and energy recovery.
Purina’s investment in Hartwell also makes a significant contribution to the local economy and community. Purina has engaged with the community since work began in early 2018 by actively supporting local pet shelters and rescues, education, civic causes and hunger relief.
“Purina has quickly become a very important member of our community,” said Brandon Johnson, Mayor, City of Hartwell. “The close proximity of the Purina facility to the city of Hartwell provides significant benefit to the local economy, tremendous career opportunities for our citizens and charitable outreach to local philanthropic organizations.”
At the grand opening ceremony for the new factory, Purina also announced a $20,000 donation to the Northeast Georgia Council on Domestic Violence (NGCDV) as part of its Purple Leash Project, a partnership between Purina and national non-profit RedRover. One in three women and one in four men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, yet nearly 50 percent of domestic abuse survivors say they won’t leave or will delay leaving an abusive relationship if they can’t bring their pets. Purina and RedRover are working to help make sure they won’t have to face that difficult decision.
“We believe it’s important to support the communities where we live and work, particularly when it benefits pets and the people who love them,” said Nina Leigh Krueger, president of Purina. “We’ve worked with our partner Red Rover to keep pets and people together, and to help them heal together, during this difficult time in their lives.”
Purina Purple Leash Project grants provide funding to make domestic violence shelters pet friendly, and Purina has committed more than $500,000 to help fund these grants.