North Carolina Gov Mike Easley announced that Bud Antle Inc, an indirect subsidiary of Dole Food Co, will invest $54 million to build and equip a processing plant for vegetables in Gaston County. This will create 525 jobs within three years and a total of 900 jobs by 2016.
David H Murdock, Dole chairman and chief executive officer, has owned property in North Carolina since the early 1980s, when he acquired the then-Cannon Mills Co.
Dole also is considering locating a frozen fruit processing plant in North Carolina and plans to increase the acquisition of vegetable crops and berry products for existing plants, as well as these new plants.
This is the company's first facility in North Carolina. The new jobs will be mainly production workers, who will take fresh vegetables and process them into bagged products for distribution in the southern and eastern United States.