By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
February 19, 2018
SPARKS, Ga. (WCTV) -- A California company is planting roots in Cook County and growing the local economy.
"They cared about people and cared about producing a product that was wholesome, healthy and made you see better," said Sonny Purdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Purdue was one of many guests at the Grimmway Farms ribbon cutting Monday in Sparks.
Grimmway Farms is the world's largest carrot producer. The family owned company opened a new packaging facility and warehouse on Monday.
"For them to choose Cook County, Georgia as their Southeast location is tremendous; for South Georgia, the region, even the whole southeast area," said Lisa Collins, Executive Director of the Cook County Economic Development Commission.
The carrots are grown in Live Oak, Florida and are now packaged in Cook County, bringing with them 50 seasonal and four full time jobs.
"That preeminent brand to choose Georgia is big for our whole fruits and vegetables industry. We've had some really good progress in this arena the last 20 to 25 years, but this is like another anchor tenant," said Gary Black with the Georiga Department of Agriculture.
The new facility is sparking international attenion in Sparks, growing orange, but making green.
"As water becomes an issue across the country we need to be smart on where we farm and the technologies involved in farming. This helps us in this particular time slot, farming here in January through the beginning of May, it's a critical time slot," said Grimmway Farms President and CEO Jeff Huckaby.
"We're committed to bringing development to every part of Cook County and this shows today that we're very serious about growing the entire county," Collins said. "When you go to the grocery store and you see Bunny-Luv carrots now, you'll know that Grimmway Farms is right here in Cook County, Georgia."
Grimmway Farms products can be found at many local grocery stores. The company said across the nation they tend to 40 thousand acres of carrots and an additional 40 thousand acres of organic vegetables.