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JTI Leaf Services (US), known locally as Japan Tobacco, announces new facilities at its Riverview Industrial Park location in Danville. An expansion totaling approximately 110,000 square feet has been completed. This structure is attached to the previously existing processing space, and provides the company with vastly improved material handling efficiency and state-of-the-art storage for green and processed leaf tobacco.
This recent building expansion of the JTI facility required an investment of more than $5 million, and the company will be spending an additional nearly $3 million for new equipment keeping this tobacco processing plant the most modern in any location worldwide. According to the Danville Office of Economic Development, it is this kind of commitment to ongoing efficiency and quality that makes JTI such a valuable member of Danville’s manufacturing community.
JTI has been located in Danville since 2009, and it has proven to be a dedicated member of the City’s business community. The company has provided significant contributions to Danville, the most visible of which is the JTI Fountain that stands at the gateway to the River District providing a focal point on the downtown plaza.
JTI not only provides jobs and good income for its direct employees, it provides the area’s farmers with a market for locally grown tobacco. The reach of that market covers the flue-cured tobacco producing belts of the southeastern United States and extends to the west across the entire burley tobacco producing regions.
Commenting on the synergy between international commerce and local farmers, Dr. Basil Gooden, Virginia secretary of agriculture and forestry, said, “Virginia tobacco represents over $106.5 million in farm-gate value to our tobacco farmers, with over 70 percent of our crop going into export trade with JTI Leaf being a major export purchaser of our crop. We applaud JTI Leaf’s continuing investment in Virginia tobacco and greatly appreciate both their capital investment and the tobacco market opportunity they create for Virginia tobacco.”
Todd Haymore, a Pittsylvania County native and current Secretary of Commerce and Trade for the Commonwealth of Virginia, added his perspective to the international value of JTI’s presence in Danville. “I am pleased JTI is continuing their commitment to Virginia with this new investment. Today’s announcement will generate new opportunities for Virginia’s tobacco farmers to export their leaf into the international marketplace, where more than 90 percent of the world’s customers reside. I commend JTI for being such a quality and dependable private sector partner with the City of Danville and the region’s tobacco producers, and I look forward to this continued partnership for years to come.”
Mayor John Gilstrap said, “We are very grateful for JTI’s presence and ongoing investments in Danville. This is the kind of progressive manufacturing company that we need to revitalize our local economy.”
On behalf of the company, Steve Daniels, CEO of JTI Leaf Services (US), said, “We are very happy about our latest expansion. We have been very fortunate to have grown every year since our start in 2009, with both our physical footprint and with our volumes. Our success is the direct result of the exceptional cooperation between JTI’s great staff, a dedicated grower base and relationships with state and municipal officials who are committed to seeing us succeed. We look forward to continued success in the future.”
The Danville Office of Economic Development recruits and retains businesses for the Danville area. The office provides information on available sites and buildings, incentives and other financial resources and offers a website designed for the business community, discoverdanville.com.