The Commonwealth of Virginia has long recognized food processing as a driving force in the national and Global economy. Food processing companies have taken notice. During the last decade, companies in the food and beverage sector have invested over $1.8 billion and created more than 6,100 new jobs in the Commonwealth.
Virginia's Food Processing Industry
- Accounts for 14 percent of total manufacturing employment, making it Virginia’s second largest manufacturing sector
- Virginia is home to 500 food processing companies employing more than 34,000 people
- Meat and poultry processing (13,519 employees), other food manufacturing (4,558 employees) and beverage manufacturing (4,277 employees) comprise 67 percent of all food processing employment
- Bakeries and tortilla manufacturing (153 firms), beverage manufacturing (139 firms) and other food manufacturing (64 firms) are the three largest sectors
- Kraft Foods
- McKee Foods
- Boar’s Head Provisions
- Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
- Sabra Dipping Company
- Virginia’s central East Coast location and premier transportation network allow companies to reach customers anywhere in the world with ease.
- Virginia’s corporate income tax rate of 6% hasn’t changed since 1972. Companies also benefit from tax exemptions on purchases of machinery, tools, replacement parts and raw materials used in production, as well as all utilities delivered through pipes, mains and lines for any purpose. Virginia also do not tax accounts receivable, inventory, computer software or other intangibles.
- Workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance are among the lowest in the nation. The unemployment tax burden is 32% lower than the national average, and right-to-work laws allow individuals to work regardless of membership in a labor union.
- Virginia offers low electricity rates, state-of-the-art utilities and telecommunications infrastructure, and construction costs 16% lower than the national average.
- Virginia Tech’s world-class department of Food Science and Technology prepares undergraduate and graduate students with access to state-of-the-art research programs, including the Food and Analysis Laboratory as well as the Packaging and Processing Pilot Plant.
- Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, home to the Virginia Packaging Applications Center, offers students a cutting-edge training lab providing extensive, hands-on experience through its Advanced Manufacturing and Packaging Technology curriculum.