French Ambassador to the United States Gérard Araud was in Boise and Nampa on Tuesday to tour French-owned businesses and to promote investment in France.
Araud and French Consul General Pauline Carmona joined Lt. Gov. Brad Little on a tour and ribbon cutting of Lactalis’s fresh mozzarella cheese plant and Materne North America’s new GoGo Squeez applesauce-pouch plant in Nampa.
“We are here to invest in Idaho,” Araud told the Idaho Statesman.
Lactalis, a global leader in dairy products, began operations in Nampa when it acquired the Swiss Valley cheese plant from Simplot in 1999. Araud said Lactalis has invested $250 million in Idaho and the new mozzarella line will increase employment from 800 to 1,000 people and bring the “better French way” to mozzarella manufacturing.
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$335 millionThe amount of money French companies have invested in Canyon County.
Materne recently announced an $85 million investment in the Nampa plant that will increase employment there to 250 workers from 150 .
Araud met with officials of the College of Western Idaho and told of the two French companies’ needs for a skilled work force.
Later he toured Micron’s research and development site in Boise and met with Michael Sadler, Micron’s vice president for corporate development. He said he was hoping to persuade Micron to consider research and development sites in France.