(Bethlehem, PA) This morning, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) kicked off its national tour, “Grocery Manufacturers Power America: How the Nation’s Largest Manufacturing Sector Drives Communities, Jobs, and Economic Growth,” at Bethlehem’s Freshpet Kitchens – one of the fastest growing providers of manufacturing jobs in the Lehigh Valley.
During this morning’s kick-off event, U.S. Representative Charlie Dent (PA-15) and other local officials were given a firsthand look at the great work being done by Pennsylvania grocery manufacturing employees during a plant tour at Freshpet. The tour was immediately followed by a roundtable discussion featuring the Congressman, GMA CEO Pamela Bailey, Freshpet CEO Billy Cyr, Furmano’s Foods CEO Chad Geise, Bimbo Bakeries USA VP of HR Jonathan Berger, local officials, Lehigh Valley suppliers, and other stakeholders from across the Pennsylvania agriculture supply chain. As part of its Grocery Manufacturers Power America tour, GMA will continue to hold similar events at member companies across the nation to highlight the unique role grocery manufacturing plays in driving the U.S. economy and supporting good-paying jobs for American workers.
“The grocery manufacturing sector is our nation’s single largest source of manufacturing jobs, employing 2.1 million Americans in 30,000 communities across the country,” said Pamela G. Bailey, CEO of GMA. “In Pennsylvania alone, grocery manufacturing companies like Freshpet, Furmano’s Foods, and Bimbo Bakeries provide over 65,000 local workers with jobs.”
“Our first Groceries Manufacturers Power America tour stop at Freshpet – a shining example of a success story right here in America’s heartland – truly illustrates the importance of the grocery manufacturing industry to our nation’s economy,” continued Bailey. “We thank Freshpet for hosting, and Congressman Dent and all of today’s event participants for joining us at this morning’s tour kick-off.”
“We are delighted to host the first stop on the Grocery Manufacturers Power America and Pennsylvania Tour at the Freshpet Kitchens here in Bethlehem,” said Billy Cyr, Freshpet’s Chief Executive Officer. “Freshpet is proud to be a top employer in the Lehigh Valley and we’re looking forward to continuing to create high quality jobs as we execute on our growth strategy.”
“Today’s event was a great way to highlight the importance of grocery manufacturing jobs to Pennsylvania’s economy. I also appreciated the opportunity to tour Freshpet and I thank Billy Cyr for opening his business to us,” said Representative Dent.
GMA CEO Pamela Bailey and Freshpet CEO Billy Cyr – a GMA board member – were joined at today’s Grocery Manufacturers Power America tour kick-off event by the following participants: Congressman Charlie Dent (PA-15), Furmano’s Foods President and GMA Board Member Chad Geise, Bimbo Bakeries VP of HR Jonathan Berger, Lehigh Valley Economic Corporation President and CEO Don Cunningham, Hanover Township Manager John J. Finnigan, The Food Source President Peter Schaffer, The Food Source Technical Solutions Specialist Lauren Koller, PATH (Pennsylvania Advanced Training and Hiring) Executive Director Michael Salute, Freshpet employees, a representative from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and other Lehigh Valley local officials.
About the Grocery Manufacturers Association
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is the trade organization representing the world’s leading food, beverage and consumer products companies and associated partners. The U.S. food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry plays a unique role as the single largest U.S. manufacturing employment sector, with 2.1 million jobs in 30,000 communities across the country that deliver products vital to the wellbeing of people in our nation and around world. Founded in 1908, GMA has a primary focus on product safety, science-based public policies and industry initiatives that seek to empower people with the tools and information they need to make informed choices and lead healthier lives. For more information, visit gmaonline.org.
Freshpet has a single-minded mission – to improve the lives of dogs and cats everywhere through the power of fresh, natural food. Packed with vitamins and proteins, our foods offer fresh meats, poultry, and vegetables farmed locally. At our Freshpet Kitchens, we thoughtfully prepare these natural ingredients and everyday essentials, cooking them in small batches at lower temperatures to preserve key nutrients. That way, your pet gets the best. Freshpet refrigerated foods and treats are kept cool from the moment they are made until they arrive at Freshpet Fridges in your local market.
Our foods are available in select mass, grocery, natural food, club, and pet specialty retailers across the United States, Canada and are currently testing in the United Kingdom. From the care, we take to source our ingredients and make our food, to the moment it reaches your home, our integrity, transparency and social responsibility are the way we like to run our business. To learn more, visit www.freshpet.com.