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Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 10:56am

Tifton Co. Adding 550 Jobs

Hundreds of new jobs are coming to south Georgia as a food manufacturing company consolidates its operations in Tifton.

Bell Plantation makes a low-fat peanut butter powder as well as peanut oil and peanut butter crackers. It’s spending $15 million on a 109,000-square-foot plant.

Founder and CEO J.C. Bell said the company will hire about 350 production workers as fast as they can get new equipment installed.

“On top of that, we’re increasing our sales force because, in the last year, we have added about 30,000 grocery stores,” Bell said. “So we’re in the process of rolling out to all of those stores.”

He said the company will need about 200 account managers to handle those Kroger, Whole Foods and SuperValu chain stores like Save-a-Lot and Albertsons.

“This is very, very significant for us, not only in terms of total jobs, but also in terms of it being our first food-processing facility,” said Brian Marlowe, president of the Tift County Development Authority and the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce.

The Bell plant consolidates operations from five cities and three states. It’s the 19th company to locate or expand Tift County this year.

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