French Frozen Food Company Grows

French Frozen Food Company Grows

In a little over one year, a French company has saved hundreds of local jobs and grown a failing frozen foods business.

In a little over one year, a French company has saved hundreds of local jobs and grown a failing frozen foods business.
Bonduelle entered the U.S. market in 2012 and gave an update on progress on Friday.
The minute the crops are picked they head straight for one of Bonduelle's production facilities in Genesee county.
This is in Bergen - a plant that pumped out 107 million pounds of frozen veggies during the first year.
"We were attracted by the agricultural region, by the capacity of the facilities, by the people that were working here,” said Daniel Vielfaure, CEO Bonduelle Americas.
Bonduelle is a french company that expanded into the u-s after buying Allen's failing plants in Bergen, Oakfield, Brockport, and Wisconsin.
"We had a pretty good image in the U.S., selling products from Canada and so our customers were asking for more of our products but we did not have the capability, we did not have the capacity in our facilities," said  Vielfaure.
Bonduelle said the willingness to invest in equipment and employees has paid off.
There are 290 permanent workers in New York State and 188 seasonal.
Seasonal workers are from Puerto Rico.
The permanent jobs are all local employees.
"When they saw that we were visiting, we were really interested, I got the  feeling we had the right people to do what we wanted to do," said  Vielfaure.
Those jobs were almost lost.
Growers would have lost out too.
Bonduelle gives seeds to about 100 farmers within a 75 mile area to grow their crops.
"There is a comfort level in the growing community that yes, if I invest in my farm, the equipment needed, it's a good investment for me the grower," said Tom Facer, President of Farm Fresh First.
Bonduelle says private labels are their future.
Since moving to the U.S. it has gained customers like Tops and Wegmans.
And the company is only looking up.
"I believe once we fill the capacity, we will need more facilities," said Vielfaure.
Bonduelle did not receive or ask for any state or federal funding to move to New York State.
Vielfaure said that is not the kind of company they are, but may think about it in the future.




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