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New PTC plant to employ 42 to make livestock feed additive

Calpis America, Inc., broke ground on its new $20 million manufacturing and headquarters facility in the Peachtree City industrial park Friday.

The Japanese firm will employ about 50 people at the plant, which will produce a livestock feed additive designed to promote digestive health. Some 42 of the jobs will be created in the first year of operations on the 12-acre site.

The plant is expected to be operational by April 2014.

Georgia Quick Start, which provides customized workforce training, will help the company with its training needs.

“U. S. consumers have for many years given us business opportunities and ideas to improve our products,” said Masato Yoshida, the president of Calpis America, Inc. “Not only is the U.S. the world’s biggest supplier of meat products, it also has a great potential to further develop the industry both in volume and quality. Locating this plant in Georgia will enable us to better serve the industry and to utilize the abundant workforce.”

Yoshida said the city’s close proximity to interstates and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, provides good access for the company both domestically and internationally.

Scott McMurray, director of the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Logistics, Energy, Agriculture and Food Processing industry team, assisted Calpis on behalf of the state. Yumiko Nakazono, director of Georgia’s Japan office, coordinated the introduction of the company to the state during the SEUS-Japan conference in July 2012.

“We’re very pleased that yet another Japanese company has broken ground for a manufacturing facility in Georgia,” said Chris Cummiskey, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “International investment is critical to the state’s economy, so we have worked hard to create a business environment that makes the state a strategic and easily accessible location for global companies.”

Fayette County Development Authority President/CEO Matt Forshee said the city’s location and amenities help it stand out when international companies seek a place to do business in the Atlanta area and the southeast U.S.

Forshee managed the project locally with support from Existing Industry Manager Emily Poole, by providing site selection services, fast-track permit facilitation services and industrial revenue bond financing.

Calpis Co., Ltd. had approximately $1.3 billion in net sales in 2011.

Calpis originated as a manufacturer of cultured milk drink named “CALPIS,” under founder Kaiun Mishima, following development of the drink in 1919. The company has since expanded overseas, especially into Asia, with its beverage lineup as well as other dairy products.

Using its expertise in fermentation processes, the company now makes dietary supplements and animal feed additives. Calpis Co., Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, has existing U.S. facilities in Torrance, Calif., primarily for its beverage business, and Mount Prospect, Ill., for its feed business, which will be relocating to Peachtree City as part of this project.

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