Global Food Manufacturer Plans To Open New Processing Facility In Jefferson Parish

Fuji Vegetable Oil, Inc. to invest $70 million into West Bank Project

AVONDALE – The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO), in conjunction with Louisiana Economic Development, announced in a press release they are pleased to welcome Fuji Vegetable Oil, Inc. to Jefferson Parish. The specialty oil and fat producer will establish a new processing facility adjacent to the former Avondale Shipyard, creating 39 direct jobs in the region and investing $70 million into the project.

Fuji's fats and oils are used in a variety of industries and can be found in a wide array of products, including desserts, infant formula, frying fats, and soaps. Fuji's new facility in Jefferson Parish will primarily import and refine palm oil from sources in the Pacific. According to the release, the company selected Jefferson Parish due to its highly skilled workforce, its proximity to new markets, and its strong shipping infrastructure, including access to international waters, which will be vital to the company's import of raw materials and export of finished products. The company will offer an average salary of over $77,000, plus benefits, at the Jefferson Parish processing facility, which will be the company's second location in the United States.

JEDCO said they played an important role in the attraction of Fuji Vegetable Oil to Jefferson Parish. The organization coordinated meetings with Jefferson Parish leaders and provided tax incentive guidance. JEDCO also offered space at their Conference Center to support the company's hiring and job training activities. In addition to those services, LED offered Fuji Vegetable Oil a competitive incentive package and access to the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart, the nation's number one state workforce training program. The company will also receive a $250,000 award through the state's Economic Development Award Program, which will be used for infrastructure improvements to the site. Fuji is expected to utilize Louisiana's Quality Jobs and the Industrial Tax Exemption Programs.

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"JEDCO is delighted to welcome another global food product manufacturer to our parish," said JEDCO President and CEO Jerry Bologna. "The food cluster is a priority of the Jefferson EDGE, the economic development strategic plan for Jefferson Parish. Fuji's decision to locate in Jefferson Parish is indicative of our success in elevating opportunities for food-related industries. Additionally, we are excited about the development of quality, high-paying jobs on the West Bank of Jefferson Parish within this targeted industry cluster. We appreciate Fuji Vegetable Oil's investment in our community and look forward to a long-term partnership."  

"Fuji Vegetable Oil, Inc. looks forward to the opening of our new facility in Jefferson Parish," said Fuji Vegetable Oil President Andrew Bunger. "Fuji is known worldwide for the quality of our products. Producing to our standards demands a high quality workforce and strong local partners. After searching along the Gulf Coast and the Eastern seaboard, we felt Jefferson Parish provided the best location and, more importantly, best partners and future employees for the continued success of our business in the U.S."

Fuji Vegetable Oil was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Savannah, Georgia. The company is a leader in the production of ingredients for the commercial food industry. Fuji Vegetable Oil is the American arm of parent company Fuji Oil Group, which is headquartered in Osaka, Japan. Through its companies and subsidiaries, Fuji Oil Group makes everything from raw materials to finished products in the areas of oils and fats, confectionary and baking ingredients, and soy. Fuji Oil Group was established in 1950.

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"Along with the entire Parish Council, I am honored to welcome Fuji Vegetable Oil to Jefferson Parish," said Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni. "This project speaks volumes to Jefferson Parish's overall ability to attract global leaders into our community. Jefferson Parish is situated in the center of the largest Intermodal transportation system in the South and offers many strategic advantages for businesses, including deep-water access and proximity to Class I rail lines, highways, and Interstates. That, coupled with a robust business climate and a quality workforce, sets Jefferson Parish apart and continues to make this community a desirable destination in which to do business."

"Fuji Vegetable Oil's investment in Avondale confirms Louisiana's strengths in unrivaled shipping infrastructure, unique geographical assets and resources, and a highly skilled workforce," said Gov. Edwards. "I am proud to welcome Fuji to Louisiana and I extend my congratulations to the company on their wise investment. This new project will make a fitting addition to Louisiana's rapidly diversifying economy, and I am confident Fuji will find success in our great state."

Fuji plans to break ground on the new facility in late 2018, with hiring to begin in the following year. The company expects the new processing facility to be completed in early 2020, with commercial operations to commence soon after.

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