US natural and organic food distributor United Natural Foods has announced plans to open a new state-of-the-art distribution facility in Rocklin, California.

The Company purchased a new facility on 1 March 2005, and plans to move its current operations in Auburn, California to Rocklin by late summer of 2005. The new building is 487,000 square feet and will be the largest facility in UNFI’s nationwide distribution network.

The Rocklin facility is scheduled to commence operations by September 2005 and will serve as a distribution hub for customers in northern California and surrounding states. United Natural Foods currently has 17 distribution centres throughout the United States, consisting of approximately 3.0 million square feet of space. United Natural Foods has the largest warehouse capacity of any distributor in the natural products industry.

“We are excited about the opportunity to further strengthen our distribution network and open a new state-of-the-art facility in northern California,” said Steven Townsend, chairman and CEO. “We remain focused on meeting the strong and growing consumer demand for natural and organic products and are committed to being the highest quality and most efficient distributor for the natural products industry. The Rocklin centre will utilize innovative technologies to create greater efficiencies and productivity, and will ensure that our customers continue to receive enhanced product diversity and superior customer service.”

The distance between the new facility in Rocklin, California and the company’s current centre in Auburn, California is approximately 20 miles and no jobs are expected to be affected by the transition.