It's Official: Frulact Set To Move Into Rupert
Rupert, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) It was an historic day over in the city of Rupert this Friday.
For the first time in over 50 years the small city of 5,500 has a new company coming to town.
This morning city official signed a development agreement with portages based Frulact for their first North American base of operation.
Joey martin for Idaho’s First News has the details.
First Chobani... Then Clif Bar... And now it's Frulact.
Frulact is an international fruit processor out of Portugal.
And Friday morning it became official... Rupert Idaho will be the company’s very first North American base of operation.
"It means that we are on the map now. People recognize that we are not just a bedroom community... we are here. We want Frulact to be successful, they want to be successful... and this is just opening the door."
Said Rupert Mayor, Michael Brown.
Operating in a case to case model, Frulact offers dairy products, ice creams, pastries, beverages, concentrates, snack fruits and many other products.
Initially the company will be hiring around 75 employees within the first year. Eventually, totaling 100 employees within 5 years.
And it's not just the new jobs... With the addition of Frulact, the city of Rupert is winning in many ways.
"In addition to jobs... the city has other benefits we'll realize. We'll realize a lot of improvement in our infrastructure in water, waste water and electric. Its not just for Frulact, it will help us serve other areas of the city and plan for future growth. The good thing about that is... we will not have to have our rate payers pay for that infrastructure, it's a big benefit of that company coming to the city."
Said Rupert City Administrator, Kelly Anthon.
"This is an international company, they don't have any operations in the United States at this time. Just the sheer fact that they chose us out of Southern Utah, Idaho... the other Magic Valley cities really tell us that we have a very viable option out there in the business world."
And like Chobani and Clif Bar... It was the tireless work of the southern Idaho Economic Development Organization that made Frulact a reality.
"For Frulacts' first investment into the United States... to be here in Rupert Idaho is not only special for Frulact but is special for us. In fact it's the first F–D–I or Foreign Direct Investment in the state as a first time investor into the US. So that makes it a little bit more special."
Said Jan Rogers, Executive Director of SIEDO.
"I feel it's one of the greatest accomplishments in Rupert in a long time."
Giving the Mini–Cassia and Magic Valley region another reason to celebrate.
Frulact also produces products from fruits… including juices, jams, sweets, and baby food under private label for companies.
Construction on the 200-thousand square foot facility should get underway within the next month… construction is estimated to last about one year, and begin operation in 2015.
Along with Rupert the company currently operates a total of six factories, three in Portugal, and others in France, Morocco and Algeria.