A 96,000 square foot temperature-controlled Americold storage facility expansion underway in Leesport, Pa., will handle products for Perdue Foods's northeastern U.S. customers. This state-of-the-art, energy efficient facility provides more than 2.3 million cubic feet of temperature-controlled storage space dedicated to the support of the Perdue Foods business. 

Through this expansion, Perdue Farms and Americold are creating just over 100 new jobs in Pennsylvania. The new facility will handle products previously distributed from a Perdue-owned distribution center in Georgetown, Del. The Georgetown distribution center is being converted to a dedicated shipping facility serving the adjacent Georgetown processing plant.

"The Leesport expansion is symbolic of our long standing partnership with Perdue and our commitment to designing and implementing customized solutions for our customers that meet the needs of their growing businesses," commented Fred Boehler, president and chief operating officer of Americold.

"Americold is the leader in temperature controlled distribution and logistics, and expansion of our partnership with them in Leesport will enable us to focus our efforts on continued market leadership in premium brands and products. At the same time, they'll provide us with updated technology to better serve our customers," said Lester Gray, senior vice president of operations for Perdue Foods. The Leesport is facility is approximately three hours closer to most customers compared to the Georgetown distribution center.

"This supports our growth across our portfolio of brands, including the Perdue, Harvestland, Coleman Natural and Coleman Organic brands, as well as customer-owned brands, while working toward improvements in customer service," said Gray. "We're seeing continued growth through new customers and new products for the Perdue brand and unprecedented growth in organic brands."

Perdue contracts with independent Pennsylvania farm families to raise its organic chicken, and buys both conventional and organic grain from Pennsylvania farmers through Perdue AgriBusiness. To support the growing demand for organic products, Perdue AgriBusiness operates an elevator in Marietta, Pa., dedicated to buying and storing USDA certified organic grain. Perdue AgriBusiness was recently awarded the 2013 Outstanding New Organic Producer award by Pennsylvania Certified Organic.

Perdue Chairman Jim Perdue said, "This move reinforces Americold and Perdue's joint commitment to Pennsylvania. In addition to the farm families who raise our organic chickens and the farmers who supply grain, we are pleased to be partnering with Americold in Pennsylvania, and look forward to other opportunities to increase our presence in the state."