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Can The Enterprise Zone Save Hershey’s?

The Modesto Bee reports on The Hershey Corporation’s new plans for a manufacturing plant in Mexico and the potential repercussions on their U.S. operations including California. Once again, the Enterprise Zone is mentioned as a major attraction:

“Food processing companies want to be within close proximity to the source so your products are as fresh as possible,” said Jan Ennenga, executive director of the Manufacturing Council of the Central Valley. But there are concerns that the cost of doing business in California may outweigh the benefits of being in the heart of agriculture land. Improved logistics in recent years means Hershey could be cost-effective in shipping almonds or dairy products from the valley to Mexico, Boyd said.”The proximity to raw materials is trumped by lower labor costs and lower raw material costs, principally sugar,” said Boyd, adding that the efficiency of the Oakdale plant is likely being taken “under serious consideration” by Hershey executives…. Modesto Irrigation District provides “affordable, business-friendly energy” rates, Ennenga said, and clean water. Oakdale also is within the boundaries of Stanislaus County’s enterprise zone, which gives companies tax breaks.

However, she said, global competition can prove to be a much stronger influence than those factors when companies must cut costs.

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