Nestlé Purina PetCare Co. recently commemorated the opening of its 21st factory in the U.S. in Hartwell, Ga.
With a total investment of more than $320 million, the new 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 U.S., Canada and Latin America.
Currently, nearly 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.
"I am proud to congratulate Purina on the opening of their 21st U.S. factory in Hart County," said Georgia Gov. Brian P. Kemp. "As one of the nation's leading pet food companies, Purina's expansion into Hartwell and continued commitment in Fairburn are creating exciting opportunities for hardworking Georgians and their families, and I am grateful for their investment in our state. I am excited to see another member of the Georgia Made family grow their operations, and I have no doubt that our top-notch workforce will ensure Purina's continued success in the years ahead."
Purina 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 Purina brands like Fancy Feast. The Nov. 18 opening marked the first step in launching the Hartwell factory's production and continuing to evolve the facility's capabilities.
"Nestlé Purina is focused on delivering world-class products and is one of our key growth pillars for Nestlé," said Laurent Freixe, Nestlé chief executive officer 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."
Growth of the wet cat food category and demand for Purina pet foods is a primary driver of Purina's Hartwell investment. More than 60% of American households have a dog or cat, and pets are considered full-fledged members of the family. Purina is the number-one pet care company in the U.S. and is shaping the future of health and well-being for pets and their owners through its trusted portfolio of innovative, high-quality brands, the announcement said.
"Through this investment in Hartwell, Purina is continuing to deliver science-based nutrition made to the highest standards of quality and safety that pet owners have come to trust for more than 90 years," Purina CEO Joseph Sivewright said. "Purina's Hartwell team is critical to helping us deliver quality nutrition so pets can live longer, healthier lives with their owners. We're very excited to be a part of the Hartwell community, and we're proud of the great teamwork by everyone involved to build a world-class facility that will operate in a sustainable way."
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 innovative water conservation and treatment methods, aims to be powered by 100% renewable electricity in the near future and currently sends zero waste for disposal to traditional landfills, instead utilizing composting, recycling and energy recovery.
Nestlé Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Nestlé Purina PetCare is part of Nestlé S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness.