Governor Markell Announces Perdue Agribusiness to Relocate to Seaford

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Perdue AgriBusiness, a subsidiary of Perdue Incorporated, will relocate its corporate headquarters and trading operations center from Salisbury, Md. to Seaford, Del.

We're no strangers to Delaware and Delaware is no stranger to Perdue

Governor Jack Markell announced today that Perdue AgriBusiness, a subsidiary of Perdue Incorporated, will relocate its corporate headquarters and trading operations center from Salisbury, Md. to Seaford, Del. The decision is expected to add 110 to 120 jobs to Delaware’s workforce, growing to as many as 135 to 150 jobs over the next three years.

Delaware Economic Development Office Secretary Alan Levin and Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Kee joined the Governor for the announcement.

“Perdue’s agribusiness efforts are developing new technologies and new approaches that are truly moving agriculture forward. They’ll find a great home in Delaware, where we honor innovation and hard work and where they will help keep Delaware moving forward as well. This great news happened because so many people in business and government worked together to get done what’s most critical – getting people to work,” said Markell, who during his recent trade mission to China and Taiwan made the case for the value and quality of Delmarva’s Poultry industry in a market that imports hundreds of millions of dollars of goods and services a year from Delaware.

“We’re no strangers to Delaware and Delaware is no stranger to Perdue,” said Dick Willey, President of Perdue AgriBusiness. “We already have five facilities here and have been doing business in the First State for years. Perdue AgriBusiness is looking forward to its continued partnership with Delaware.”

Perdue currently employs approximately 50 individuals in Delaware. The new headquarters will have no impact on the operations or employment at the company’s other business lines in the state. Perdue expects to begin to occupy a new headquarters facility in 2012. The facility will be located in Seaford, but the plans have not yet been finalized.

“Perdue’s decision to relocate their Agribusiness headquarters to Delaware recognizes that when it comes to the agricultural industry and what it takes to succeed, Delaware gets it,” said Levin. “The headquarters will create jobs and will add tremendous benefit to Seaford and the region in the years to come.”

The Delaware Economic Development Office will recommend $1.74 million grant from the Delaware Strategic Fund for capital construction costs of the new facility and relocation of its operations from Salisbury to Seaford. Perdue will make an estimated $8 million capital investment at the facility. An additional $375,000 performance-based grant will be awarded for new jobs created. These recommendations will be reviewed by the Council on Development Finance.

Perdue is also eligible for up to $100,000 in company-match workforce training grants associated with the start-up and relocation of operations at the new facility through the Blue Collar Training Fund program.

“On behalf of everyone involved in Delaware agriculture, especially our farmers, we congratulate and thank Perdue Agribusiness for relocating their core functions to Seaford,” Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Kee said. Perdue’s commitment to Delaware reflects what has become known as the ‘Delaware Way,’ that is a real team approach to enhance the profitability of our agriculture and to create jobs for Delawareans. I also want to thank Governor Markell and DEDO Secretary Alan Levin for their continuing support and understanding of Delaware agriculture’s critical role in our state.”

"Sussex County Council welcomes the Perdue Agribusiness headquarters to Seaford,” said Sussex County Council Vice President Michael Vincent. “We are excited to compliment our strong agricultural base with corresponding managerial jobs to an area which will particularly benefit from this center."

Agriculture contributes $337 million to Delaware’s Gross Domestic Product and represents a 6.8 percent annual growth rate over a 10-year period (1997 -2007). According to the 2007 U.S. Census of Agriculture, there are nearly 2,500 farms in Delaware. There are also about 65 food manufacturing companies in Delaware, employing more than 9,000 Delawareans.

For more information about jobs at Perdue in Delaware, visit http://www.perdue.com.

About the Delaware Economic Development Office
The Delaware Economic Development Office is an executive state agency responsible for attracting new investors and businesses to the state, promoting the expansion of existing industry, assisting small and minority-owned businesses, promoting and developing tourism and creating new and improved employment opportunities for all citizens of the State. Visit dedo.delaware.gov.

About Perdue AgriBusiness
Ranked among the largest grain companies in the U.S., Perdue AgriBusiness is a leading merchandiser, processor and exporter of agriculture products. Through its more than 60 elevator locations with more than 60 million bushels of storage, four transload facilities, three protein blend mills, three soybean crushing operations, an edible oil refinery and two rendering facilities, Perdue AgriBusiness serves agricultural markets across the United States and around the world. Visit http://www.perdueagribusiness.com for more information.

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Nikki Lavoie
Delaware Economic Development Office
(302) 672-6857
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