Our view: Haribo manufacturing facility gains swift approval in Pleasant Prairie

Our view: Haribo manufacturing facility gains swift approval in Pleasant Prairie

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In contrast to the continuous questions and updates on Foxconn to the north, there’s Haribo to the south.

Quietly back in the news, the world’s leading manufacturer of fruit gummi and licorice products is planning to build a manufacturing facility as expected in Pleasant Prairie.

The Village Board last week approved the initial phase of the Haribo of America development that will begin construction this fall in the Prairie Highlands Corporate Park.

Jean Werbie-Harris, community development director, said construction of a warehouse is expected to be completed by next fall and the manufacturing facility finished by the fall of 2021. The new facility is expected to employ 450 workers and would produce or store as many as 132,000 pounds of the gummi candies annually.

The full rollout of the campus will include other retail and promotional operations, daycare and fitness centers, a museum and a heliport. Details for those plans were not yet included in the submission to Pleasant Prairie.

At the Plan Commission meeting earlier this month, Mike Pollocoff, a Pleasant Prairie board member on the commission, said Haribo represents an “excellent development” in the growing and business-friendly village.

“We’re looking forward to the next phase of this construction, and Pleasant Prairie’s very pleased you chose us here,” said Mike Serpe, Plan Commission chairman and Village Board member. “I guarantee you won’t regret that decision.”

Haribo, the German manufacturer known for its Goldbears gummi bears, is moving to where demand of its product is great, and its plans have been steady moving forward.

Last November, Rick LaBerge, chief operating officers of Haribo of America, told the crowd at FaB (Food and Beverage) Wisconsin’s annual meeting:

“We’re excited to be working so closely with the people of Wisconsin as we make plans to build our first-ever U.S. factory in Pleasant Prairie,” he told the 400 attendees. “I’m so happy to be here to represent Haribo of America and to hear about the incredible initiatives FaB is leading to promote the growth of the food and beverage industry in Wisconsin.”

Katie Waller, vice president of marketing for Haribo of America, said at the meeting, “Haribo showed up so well, our support of the local community was clear, and it was a proud moment for us.”

Globally, family-owned Haribo employs nearly 7,000 associates and operates 15 production sites in 10 countries.

Pleasant Prairie stands to gain a top employer.

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