Acting Governor Kim Guadagno Concludes Agribusiness Tour at Tomasello Winery and Vegetable Processors Seabrook Brothers & Sons

Family-Owned Companies Create South Jersey Jobs and Supply Products to International Markets

Trenton, NJ – Bringing a close to her month-long tour of New Jersey agribusinesses, Acting Governor Kim Guadagno today visited Atlantic County’s Tomasello Winery and Cumberland County’s Seabrook Brothers & Sons to showcase how these agricultural businesses spur economic growth, create jobs in the Garden State and generate demand for New Jersey products across a wide variety of national and global markets.

“My visits today highlight the importance of New Jersey’s wineries and farms to the state and local economies,” said Acting Governor Guadagno. “In addition to providing jobs to local residents, both Tomasello and Seabrook purchase goods and services with a local focus, sustaining jobs for people within South Jersey.”

Hammonton-based Tomasello Winery, a third-generation family-owned business, uses South Jersey suppliers and vendors to purchase fertilizer, equipment repair services, and ingredients and sweeteners for their wines. The winery also buys grapes from local growers to augment their own grape production. Tomasello sells wines in 32 states and China, Korea and Japan and is working with the New Jersey Business Action Center to expand into Taiwan.

“Helping our agricultural businesses gain access to wider markets boosts our own economy. Opening new markets creates a ripple effect by increasing demand for the goods and services New Jersey agribusinesses rely on, and that helps create jobs,” said Acting Governor Guadagno. “That’s why we’re actively working with Tomasello so it can export its wines to Taiwan.”

New Jersey, with its approximately 50 wineries and over 225 varieties of wines, is currently ranked seventh in the nation for wine production. To expand the industry further, Governor Christie signed legislation in January that allows small in-state producers to directly ship wine to customers across the country.

“New Jersey’s wine industry is being recognized nationally and internationally for its high quality wines,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “There is even greater potential for growth in the next few years, now that our farm wineries can ship their products, so New Jersey could eventually rival the other major wine regions in the world.”

“We are delighted that the Acting Governor has chosen to visit Tomasello Winery, New Jersey’s largest and only third generation winery,” said Charlie Tomasello, president of Tomasello Winery. “Her visit is recognition of the growing size and importance of the New Jersey wine industry and its vital role in growing our state’s tourism and agribusiness industries. Her visit helps shine a spotlight on the ever-increasing quality of New Jersey wines as winemakers in our state craft wines that are now competing and winning competitions against wines from all over the world.”

Seabrook Brothers & Sons, another third-generation family-owned and operated business, processes and freezes approximately 150 millions of pounds of vegetables each year and purchases its vegetables from South Jersey farmers. It sells its own brand of frozen vegetable items under the name Seabrook Farms, as well as supplying products for food service companies and private label retail sales. In addition to the whole of the United States, Seabrook Brothers supplies products globally to destinations such as Israel, Chile, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Canada.

“Seabrook’s products are well- known in the international marketplace – from the United States and Canada to South America and the Middle East,” added Acting Governor Guadagno. “Equally important, the company relies on local South Jersey vendors for the supplies and services that keep its business and products moving domestically and internationally.”

“One of the constant themes to my 34 years in the vegetable business is that the actions of Seabrook Farms personally keep the ‘Garden’ in the Garden State,” said Seabrook Farms president Jim Seabrook, Jr.

New Jersey produces more than 100 kinds of fruits and vegetables and ranks among the nation’s largest producers of blueberries, cranberries, peaches, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, snap beans, spinach, and squash. The state’s 10,300 farms generated sales of about $1.1 billion in 2011. This includes nursery and greenhouse plants, sod, fruits and vegetables, field crops, equine, poultry and eggs, and dairy.

Led by Lt. Governor Guadagno, the New Jersey Partnership for Action (PFA) supports the vital role business plays in advancing the state’s economy and creating jobs.  The PFA is a three-pronged public-private approach to economic development and the starting point for all initiatives, policies, and efforts to grow New Jersey’s economy and create quality, sustainable jobs in our communities.  The three elements of the PFA include the Business Action Center, reporting directly to the Lt. Governor and providing the business community with a single point of contact, applying a proactive, customer-service approach to businesses’ interactions with State government; the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, serving as the state’s “bank for business”; and Choose New Jersey, an independently funded and operated 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation created to encourage and nurture economic growth throughout New Jersey.

Businesses considering a move or in need of assistance are encouraged to call New Jersey’s Business Action Center at (866) 534-7789 or visit the State’s Business Portal at www.newjerseybusiness.gov.

 

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Press Contact:
Ernest Landante
09-777-2535

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