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November 25, 2020

Shenandoah Valley Organic to build second poultry plant in Virginia

Shenandoah Valley Organic, a US poultry producer along ethical lines, is expanding in its home town of Virginia.

By Dean Best

Shenandoah Valley Organic, a US poultry producer along ethical lines, is building a second facility in its home town in Virginia state with the addition of 110 jobs.

The 75,000 square-foot plant is being constructed in the city of Harrisonburg, a project supported with grants from a number of local authorities and where the company employs 500 workers.

Shenandoah Valley Organic (SVO) counts Farmer Focus as its major brand with a range that includes whole chickens and cuts, meatballs and sausages supplied to retailers.

Corwin Heatwole founded SVO in 2014 and promotes responsible organic chicken farming using ethical and humane rearing methods.

“We chose Harrisonburg to expand because this community and city is a big part of our success to date,” Heatwole said in a statement, which did not disclose the investment amount in the project.

Virginia governor Ralph Northam approved a US$800,000 “performance-based” grant for the new site from the Virginia Investment Performance Program, while the Commonwealth Opportunity Fund and the Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund provided $500,000 each.

Northam added in the statement: “Shenandoah Valley Organic is a homegrown Virginia company that has thrived in Harrisonburg since its founding in 2014. As a leading agricultural region, the Shenandoah Valley is a natural fit for a business like SVO that partners with family farms, which remain the backbone of the local economy.”

The company’s retail distribution revolves around grocers such as Pick n Save, Metro Market, Martin’s, Earth Fare and Giant Eagle. 

In 2019, SVO received $15m in funding from a consortium of investors, including venture capital firm NRV, Open Prairie, S2G Ventures and the VTC Innovation Fund, owned by Middleland Capital. 

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