State used Japan ties to lure new PTC plant

Calpis Inc. to start in April 2014, employ 42 to make animal feed additive

A Japanese company that chose to build its animal feed additive manufacturing plant in Peachtree City selected the area in part because of contacts made through Georgia’s Japanese economic development office.

Calpis Inc. will produce a livestock microbial product that uses a naturally-occurring microorganism to improve digestive health of various farm animals including laying and breeding hens, pigs, horses, dogs and more. The company is also settling its U.S. headquarters here as well.

Calpis America Inc. President Masato Yoshida said Peachtree City “provides us good access to our users as well as transportation convenience both domestically and internationally.”

“U.S. consumers have for many years given us business opportunities and ideas to improve our products,” Yoshida said. “Not only is the U.S. the world’s biggest supplier of meat products, it also has a great potential to further develop the industry both in volume and quality. Locating this plant in Georgia will enable us to better serve the industry and to utilize the abundant workforce.”

Gov. Nathan Deal announced this week that Calpis company will invest $20 million and create 42 jobs in its first year of operations. The company expects to start up in April 2014 and Georgia Quick Start, the nation’s top-ranked customized workforce training program, will assist the company with its training needs.

“As the No. 1 poultry-producing state in the nation, Georgia is the ideal place for Calpis to expand in the United States,” said Deal. “International firms such as Calpis find success here not only because Georgia is one of the top markets for its products, but because the state is a hub for fast, efficient outreach to other markets in North and South America. The company’s strategic decision to locate here moves us closer to becoming the best place in the nation in which to do business.”

Calpis’ long-standing livestock microbial product was developed through extensive research and launched in 1987 in Japan. The microbial product takes advantage of the bacterial species Bacillus subtilis to produce the fermentation product CALSPORIN containing a naturally occurring microorganism which, according to research, may help build a preferable intestinal environment.

Fayette County Development Authority Chairman Randy Hayes said the group is excited to welcome another Japanese company.

"Matt Forshee and his team do a great job promoting Peachtree City as the location in metro Atlanta for internationally based companies to begin their U.S. operation,” Hayes said. “Our proximity to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and our unique quality of life are going to help Calpis get off to a great start here in Georgia.”

Yumiko Nakazono, director of Georgia’s Japan office, coordinated the introduction of the company to the state during the SEUS-Japan conference in July 2012.

Scott McMurray, director of the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Logistics, Energy, Agriculture and Food Processing industry team, assisted Calpis on behalf of the state.

“Calpis’ choice to invest in Georgia is a perfect example of the reason Georgia established an office in Japan 40 years ago,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Chris Cummiskey. “The company joins more than 370 Japanese businesses throughout the state employing 20,000-plus Georgians. It is our partnerships both at home and abroad that make this sort of success possible.”