USA – Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, a premiere global manufacturer of pet products, has opened its 21st factory in the United States in Hartwell, Georgia, to enable the company meet the growing demand for pet foods.

With a total investment of more than US$320 million, the new factory is Purina’s first new US factory in two decades, adding to its other manufacturing facility in Fairburn, Georgia.

The investment also represents Nestlé’s single largest investment in a pet care facility in the last decade in the US, Canada and Latin America.

The facility currently employs nearly 200 people and company said that the number will grow to 240 as new lines and other expansions at the site are completed over the next few years.

The Fancy Feast brand owner announced its investment in Hartwell in 2017 and began initial operations of a distribution center at the site in spring 2018.

Purina purchased a long-idled textile facility that it set out to completely remake and rebuild with the installation of modern equipment and technology for high-quality production of Purina brands.

The opening marks the first step in launching the Hartwell factory’s production and continuing to evolve the facility’s capabilities.

“Nestlé Purina is focused on delivering world-class products and is one of our key growth pillars for Nestlé,” said Laurent Freixe, Nestlé CEO for the Americas.

“Purina is in a position of strength for long-term sustainable growth and this investment in Hartwell demonstrates Nestlé’s commitment to continually innovate and shape the future of pet care.”

The company noted that growth of the wet cat food category and demand for Purina pet foods is a primary driver of Purina’s Hartwell investment.

As one of the leading pet care company in the United States, Purina believes that the company is shaping the future of health and wellbeing for pets and their owners through its trusted portfolio of innovative, high-quality brands.

“Through this investment in Hartwell, Purina is continuing to deliver science-based nutrition made to the highest standards of quality and safety that pet owners have come to trust for more than 90 years,” said Joseph Sivewright, Purina CEO.

“Purina’s Hartwell team is critical to helping us deliver quality nutrition so pets can live longer, healthier lives with their owners.

“We’re very excited to be a part of the Hartwell community, and we’re proud of the great teamwork by everyone involved to build a world-class facility that will operate in a sustainable way.”

To promote sustainable operations in the site, Purina has also made major investments in water conservation and treatment methods, targeting to power the facility with 100 percent renewable electricity in the near future.

According to the company, the Hartwell factory currently sends zero waste for disposal to traditional landfills, instead utilizing composting, recycling and energy recovery.