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Olive oil manufacturer comes to Suffolk

An international olive oil manufacturer has announced it will set up shop in Suffolk.

Acesur, established in 1840, will take over the former Flexa Furniture manufacturing facility in Suffolk Industrial Park that closed about eight years ago. Acesur purchased the facility from Flexa for $5 million, according to a press release from Cushman & Wakefield Thalhimer, which handled the negotiations on behalf of the seller. Harvey Lindsay Commercial Real Estate represented the buyer.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday that Acesur will pour in $11 million of investment and create 29 new jobs. The figure includes the initial sale price, according to the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance.

The new facility will handle the company’s bulk oil imports from Argentina, Australia and Spain.

“Virginia has a strong workforce and a world-class transportation network that allows businesses to easily import and export their products through the Port of Virginia,” said Northam. “These and other advantages continue to attract global companies that want to launch in the United States, and I welcome Acesur USA to the Commonwealth.”

Acesur has been active for more than 150 years producing, packaging, and marketing olive oil, and has a long history in the vegetable oils sector. A leader within the national olive oil industry in Spain, Acesur also exports its products to more than 90 countries around the world.

“We are privileged to welcome Acesur to our thriving food and beverage industry sector in Suffolk,” Suffolk Mayor Linda T. Johnson stated in a press release. “We are confident that their well-respected international presence will be a complementary blend with our skilled workforce and favorable business environment.”

Acesur is a vertically integrated company that controls the entire process from ground to bottle, allowing it to have one of the largest ranges of products in the industry, with established brands such as La Espanola, Italica, and Villa Blanca. Acesur is committed to sustainability, giving back more than 10 times the energy it consumes through the recycling of its waste.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the city of Suffolk, the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, and the Port of Virginia to secure the project for Virginia. Northam approved a $120,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Suffolk with the project. The company is eligible to receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program, and funding and services to support employee training activities will also be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“Virginia was chosen due to its market proximity, progressive infrastructure investment, as well as the Port of Virginia’s proximity to the plant,” said Joseph Fairchild, vice president of operations and director of purchasing for Acesur USA LLC.

“The new facility in the City of Suffolk will enable the company to build on its 150-year legacy of high-quality products and dedicated service to its customers,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The Hampton Roads region has emerged as a hub for the food and beverage sector, and Acesur USA will be a valuable addition to the industry.”

“We are thrilled Acesur has selected Suffolk for its U.S. production operation,” said Doug Smith, president and chief executive officer of the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance. “Hampton Roads has long been a hub for food processing due to the availability of industry-specific resources such as the Port of Virginia.”

“Virginia’s food and beverage manufacturing industry is expanding, and we are working closely with the members of that business sector to ensure efficient access to world markets,” said John F. Reinhart, chief executive officer and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “We are making significant infrastructure investments to ensure safe, reliable and consistent cargo movement to help this industry and the Virginia economy grow. We welcome Acesur USA and look forward to the opportunity to help it expand.”