June 1, 2010

Speaker Silver Joins Officials To Celebrate
Opening Of Beech-Nut Facility And Hero Group's
North American Headquarters In Upstate New York

New Plant First LEED-Certified Infant Food Plant in United States

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today joined leaders from Beech-Nut Nutrition Corporation and Hero Group, and elected officials to celebrate the opening of a new manufacturing and processing facility in upstate New York. It also will serve as the Hero Group's North American headquarters.

The 600,000-square-foot plant, located in Florida, about 35 miles west of Albany, is the first LEED-certified infant food plant in the United States, and employs 491 people. With the Assembly's continued financial support, the company decided to relocate their headquarters here from St. Louis, Mo., creating 135 new jobs.

"This state-of-the-art facility will not only provide jobs for Montgomery County, it will help strengthen the state's economy at a time when global economic conditions are still uncertain," said Silver (D-Manhattan). "In 2007, when Hero AG decided to relocate its national headquarters to the Town of Florida, it represented a strong, long-lasting partnership between our state and this corporation."

Beech-Nut outfitted the new facility with the technology to decrease the use of energy and natural resources such as water, while using natural light and landscaping techniques that do not require excess use of piped water. Certified sustainable wood and environmentally friendly paints were used in the building of the facility, as were local materials. The company has also implemented an internal recycling program and green cleaning regiment, and has given incentives to staff for using environmentally-friendly practices, such as reserved parking spots for Hybrid vehicles and accommodations for cycling to work.

Silver added, "The green, efficient upgrades in food processing technology at this plant will enable Beech-Nut to continue producing the world's finest baby food and reinforce this company's sound, permanent presence in this community."