Severn Peanut Company, a peanut sheller, will create 44 jobs in Bladen County, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The company will invest $17 million to upgrade and renovate its facility in Elizabethtown for peanut butter production.
“Severn Peanut Company in Elizabethtown continues to create good jobs which spotlights our world class farmers and diverse workforce which help make North Carolina the best state to do business,” said Governor Cooper. “We know agriculture is the heart and soul of our economy.”
Headquartered in North Carolina for more than 75 years, Severn Peanut, a division of Meherrin Agricultural & Chemical Company, shells and processes peanuts for growers and retailers. The multi-generation, family-owned parent company is vertically integrated with shelling, roasting, and packaging services for its North Carolina-grown peanuts. Severn will upgrade equipment and renovate the Elizabethtown operation to produce bulk peanut butter.
“We are grateful for the continued support we have received from local and state officials who have been integral in moving the project forward,” said Dallas Barnes, President & CEO of Meherrin. “We also want to thank Governor Cooper and his office for their leadership and commitment to North Carolina industries like ours. We are excited about the opportunities this project will create for our customers as well as current and future team members, here in the state we call home.”
Although salaries for operators, technicians, supervisors, and managers will vary by position, the overall average annual wage is $41,984, which exceeds Bladen County’s overall average annual wage of $41,913. These new jobs will have a potential annual payroll impact of more than $1.8 million for the community.
“Providing most of the nation’s in-shell peanuts, North Carolina ranks fifth in the nation for peanut production,” added N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “Our agricultural legacy, manufacturing prowess, and innovative industry support help agribusinesses thrive in our state and improve the economic prosperity of rural North Carolina.”
A performance-based grant of $150,000 from the One North Carolina Fund to Peanut Processors of Elizabethtown, LLC, a subsidiary of Severn Peanut, will help with the company’s expansion in North Carolina. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All One NC grants require matching participation from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.
“We welcome Severn Peanut’s expansion in Bladen County,” said N.C. Senator Brent Jackson. “This expansion is the result of the diligent work of our state and local officials and economic development leaders.”
“This increased investment in Elizabethtown will positively impact our community,” said N.C. Representative William D. Brisson. “We have a great business climate, a dependable workforce, and we’re ready to support the company with their growth strategy.”
In addition to the North Carolina Department of Commerce and Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other key partners in this project include the North Carolina General Assembly, North Carolina Community College System, Bladen County, Bladen County Economic Development Commission and the Town of Elizabethtown.