Flagler County Department of Economic Opportunity Announces New Agricultural Processing Plant
Flagler County Commission Chair Barbara Revels, who also serves as Chair of the Flagler County’s Economic Opportunity Advisory Council, announced this week that WP Rawl is investing in Flagler County. WP Rawl is a vegetable growing, shipping and processing company headquartered in Pelion, South Carolina. The company is constructing a 34,000 square foot processing facility on County Road 105 off CR 2006.
Construction is underway on a fully enclosed vegetable cooling and packing facility. Produce will be brought out of the fields, rinsed, chilled, and stored in refrigerated rooms until it is ready to ship. The company has a similar operation in Pelion and another facility at a company satellite location in Mississippi.
When complete, it will be the second vegetable packing plant in Flagler County. This new plant will join Hollar and Greene Produce Company which operates a large vegetable shipping facility at 3258 County Road 305, a few miles from the new plant under construction.
“We are thrilled to welcome WP Rawl and the expansion of their operations in Flagler County. Agriculture is one of our target industries,” Revels said. “Attracting a company as successful and sustainable as WP Rawl to the county is a real success story. Our goal is to see them continue to grow their local operation.”
The latest U.S.D.A. Agricultural Census, released in 2007, listed the Flagler County’s market value of products grown and raised in Flagler County at $35,140,000. The U.S.D.A. Agricultural Census is completed every 5 years and a new census is being is being conducted.
Agriculture is a piece of Flagler County’s economic picture that Helga van Eckert, Executive Director of Flagler County’s Department of Opportunity and the Economic Opportunity Advisory Council have targeted. Flagler County’s vegetables, including cabbage and potatoes, supply the national market in the winter. Timber and cattle also contribute to Flagler County’s agricultural economy.
WP Rawl has had a presence in Florida through contract farming. The Flagler County facility will expand their presence in the state. The site will help the company support their customers with product year-round.
“We are constantly looking for ways to enhance our service and we believe that expanding our operations with this facility in Bunnell will help us do that,” said Ashley Rawl, Director of Sales & Marketing for WP Rawl in a company release. “Flagler County, and Florida as a whole, has always been of strategic importance for our business. Among other things, this facility will also serve as our distribution hub for the state and surrounding states.”
The new facility is expected to be ready by late spring or the summer of 2013. It is being constructed by Cline Construction.