Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Gov. John Bel Edwards and 1,4GROUP Chairman John Forsythe announced the company is considering Ascension Parish, for a potential $35 million chemical processing facility.
The proposed plant would manufacture two products: an insect repellent and a preservative for potatoes in storage.
The project would create 34 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $68,619, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates it also would result in 126 new indirect jobs, for a total of 160 new jobs for Ascension Parish and the Capital Region.
“1,4GROUP has found success in producing and marketing its specialty products to agricultural markets in the U.S. and abroad,” Gov. Edwards said. “As the company looks to further expand, Louisiana and Ascension Parish offer much to continue its successful operations. We look forward to the company’s final investment decision and stand ready with a skilled workforce and an attractive business climate.”
Based in Idaho, 1,4GROUP was founded in 1992 to market a product to keep potatoes from sprouting while in storage. The food preservation company has expanded to offices across North America and in Europe. The Louisiana project would onshore production activity that has been taking place in China.
“We are interested in Louisiana because it offers a readily available supply of raw materials, a highly skilled workforce and multiple seaports,” Forsythe said. “Our passion is to help feed the earth’s growing population well into the future with the use of naturally occurring biochemicals. Nearly a third of the food grown today is lost between the field and the plate. One of our products significantly reduces the loss of potatoes in storage, and the other is a high-performing insect repellent from plant oils. This state-of-the-art production facility would provide these biochemical solutions globally.”
To secure the proposed project, the State of Louisiana offered 1,4GROUP a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart® – the nation’s No. 1 state workforce development program for the past 11 years. The company also is expected to utilize the state’s Industrial Tax Exemption and Quality Jobs programs.
“1,4GROUP selecting Ascension Parish as a potential location for their new operation is a testament to the quality of our local workforce and the sustainable success manufacturers find in our community,” Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment said.
“We look forward to officially welcoming 1,4GROUP to our business community,” said Kate MacArthur, president and CEO of the Ascension Economic Development Corp. “Their unique specialty product and company culture will be an asset to Ascension Parish.”
“We are excited for the potential to welcome 1,4GROUP to Ascension Parish and the Capital Region,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “Not only would this project bring dozens of high-quality new jobs to the Capital Region, but also expertise and products to support the region’s agriculture sector. Our team has enjoyed working with 1,4GROUP in collaboration with LED and local partners, and we look forward to supporting them through their final decision process.”