FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine — Cavendish Agri Services, a subdivision of J.D. Irving, Ltd., is expanding its presence in Fort Fairfield to better serve customers.
According to Mary Keith, vice president of communications for J.D. Irving, Ltd., a new warehouse to collect, store and distribute agricultural fertilizer presently under construction on Route 1A will increase the company’s capacity to serve existing customers and develop new markets.
“The expanded facility (46,500 square feet) will be operational by April 2012 and [construction] has not interrupted current service to customers,” she said. “Approximately 40 workers in total have been employed in the various phases of the project.
“The fertilizer plant is one of the largest buildings of its kind on the East Coast. State-of-the art technology will provide best in class blends for the growers in the region,” said Keith. “This investment is a major step forward for Cavendish Agri’s commitment to service and quality excellence the growers have come to expect.”
Fort Fairfield Town Manager Dan Foster said Cavendish has been a community partner for years.
“They have a facility on the McShea Siding Road to store fertilizer. They bring fertilizer into Aroostook County, store it and then sell it during the spring … when people are out planting potatoes,” said Foster. “They have a lot of acres themselves, so I’m sure they have their own customer base that they sell the product to.
“My vision is that they are consolidating these other places into one central location to be able to store this product,” he said. “They’re building a brand new facility on a whole new lot. Buck Construction is doing the work.”
In addition to some employment opportunities, Foster said the new facility will provide the town with tax revenue.
“The facility will be taxed, but we don’t have a definitive number yet as to what we’ll end up getting in tax revenue from it,” he said. “It will actually be from two sources — real estate, which will come directly from Cavendish, and personal equipment and property which comes from the state. Until that’s all in place, which won’t be until next year, we won’t know what that final number will be, but it won’t be inconsequential, that’s for sure.
“People in the community seeing this kind of activity just makes them feel good and that we’re not just sitting here stagnant. Psychologically it’s great for the community,” said Foster. “Irving is a very active, progressive, forward company and they look for entities and organizations to help facilitate whatever it is they’re trying to do … whether it be a vendor, a partner or, in this case, a community. There have been a number of times where they have come to me and said, ‘We’re working on this. Is this something you can help us with?’ and I can assure you, we bend over backwards. If we’re able to establish a good relationship with them on this project, hopefully that will bear fruit down the road.”