April 29, 2015
Congratulations to Severn Peanut Company on being selected as a semi-finalist in the Job Creation Category for the NDC Academy Awards 2015. The NDC Academy Awards Semi-Finalists represent some of the most innovative and impactful developments changing the lives for residents in underserved communities across the country, NDC is honored to highlight the achievements of these organizations at the NDC Academy 2015.
Severn Peanut Company – Severn, NC
Severn Peanut Company, dba Hampton Farms is a leading producer of peanut consumer products. These products include peanut butter, granulated peanuts, and roasted in-shell peanuts. The products are sold in grocery chains, ballparks, produce markets, etc, throughout the United States and Canada. The company proposed making a large financial investment in a new in-shell processing facility along with peanut roasting, drying, inspection, and packaging equipment. This expansion would allow an increase in our production capabilities of salted-in-shell peanuts. It would also allow us to continue production in the new facility while the current plant facility underwent renovation. This would aid in retaining the current 85 employees while the new facility would create an additional 46 jobs. The expansion facility would also allow Hampton Farms to continue on its upward growth curve, thereby providing stable twelve month employment for the inhabitants of Northampton County, N. C. and the surrounding areas.
The addition of 46 jobs is healthy for the local economy which has limited employment opportunities. From Gary Brown, Northampton County Economic Development Officer: “The Town of Severn (2010 population 275) is one of nine municipalities in Northampton County (2010 population 22,095), a low-wealth minority majority county located in northeastern North Carolina. Historically, the economy of Northampton County was dominated by labor intensive agriculture where educational attainment and worker training was low. However, Severn Peanut Company, founded by natives of the region, invested in manufacturing operations in Northampton County. The company’s desire was to close the employment gap and create gainful employment opportunities for workers with limited training and work experience while sustaining a fiscally sound enterprise. Common to businesses located in non-metropolitan areas, growth of the company was hampered by substantially limited local government financial resources to support business development.” Employees and their families, who had no industry provided benefits, will now have paid vacation, paid sick days, access to health insurance, dental insurance (if selected), short and long term disability insurance, 401 (k) company paid additions to the employee contribution, and life insurance. Employees, who have no food industry experience, will be exposed to training in FDA requirements, HACCP, sanitation procedures, good manufacturing practices, and food safety standards.