May 11, 2023

Vegetable processing company investing $19 million in New Mexico facility

Vegetable processing company Oro is investing $19 million in a new facility in New Mexico’s Santa Teresa Border Zone.

Construction will begin on a 20-acre site in the Santa Teresa Gateway Rail Park this summer, according to a news release from the New Mexico Economic Development Department. The plant, scheduled to open in 2024, will create 49 jobs with an average salary of $35,710, according to the release.

Zucchini, peppers and carrots are among the visible vegetables
Vegetable processing company Oro is investing $19 million in a new facility in New Mexico’s Santa Teresa Border Zone. Photo: File

“Oro sees Santa Teresa as a logistical gateway that will open our products to more customers across the West, and that means more opportunities for growers and processors in New Mexico,” Hugo Ruiz, company operations manager, said in the release.

The state awarded $750,000 from the department’s job creation fund to support the project.

Also, New Orleans-based Louisiana Pepper Exchange purchased a 10-acre site in the Santa Teresa Borderplex in the Ironhorse Industrial Park for expansion.

The family-owned company was established in 2010 by Army veteran and West Point graduate Chris White, who patented a proprietary shipping method for bulk pepper mash.

“Recruiting new businesses to the Santa Teresa Border Zone continues to be a priority for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham,” Alicia J. Keyes, Economic Development Department Secretary, said. “This region is more important than ever to America’s prosperity as companies look to diversify their supply chains and provide more affordable goods and materials to North American customers and consumers.”

Oro chose the Santa Teresa site for its transportation network, which includes quick access to the Pacific Northwest and the West Coast, according to the release.

Oro provides bulk ingredient sourcing to processors and packaged vegetables for restaurants, food servicers and retail customers. The company has contract growers in Mexico and the U.S.

The Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance also pledged $100,000 from the NMBorderplex Closing Incentive program for the project.

The Santa Teresa Port of Entry is a primary crossing between the U.S. and Mexico. Without a bridge structure from the East, its cargo is not limited by space or weight.

The port doubled the number of commercial vehicles processed in the last two years, according to the release. In 2022, the port processed a record 160,000-plus trucks.

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