Frulact Group, headquartered in Maia, Portugal, announced Wednesday it will open its first United States processing facility in Rupert next year.
The approximately 200,000 square foot fruit preparation and processing plant is slated to break ground this year and open in the fourth quarter of 2014. Approximately 100 employees will be hired when the facility is at full production, and more jobs will be added as growth warrants, according to an Idaho Department of Commerce news release.
"We are thrilled to build our first U.S. location in Rupert," said Joao Miranda, CEO and co-founder of Frulact. "After looking at locations in Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Nevada, we selected the city of Rupert because of the sense of their community, and a commitment that Rupert is ready and currently in position to guarantee that Frulact can start immediately with the construction of our factory in order to meet our objectives.
"Rupert is superbly located for the Frulact facility and therefore is ideal to serve our key customers throughout the United States," Miranda said.
Frulact is a family-owned company, founded in 1987, that develops custom fruit preparations for leading food labels in the dairy, beverages, ice-cream and pastry markets throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Frulact Group includes more than 500 employees, more than 35 percent of whom have university degrees,
"I had the opportunity to meet with members of Frulacts senior management team, and I was impressed by their professionalism, knowledge and commitment to excellence in their company, in their product and in their partners," said Idaho Gov. Butch Otter.
"What a historic impact this project will have for the citizens of Rupert," said Rupert Mayor Michael Brown. "We believe this project will open the door to other industries looking for a great community to build or expand."
Jan Rogers, executive director of Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization, said "Rupert was able to stay competitive against many other communities thanks to Rupert voters support of major waste water facility upgrades that were completed in 2012."