Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding highlighted a $1.75 million state investment in ByHeart, Inc. Thursday, supporting Pennsylvania’s dairy industry and creating 50 new, local jobs.
ByHeart, Pennsylvania’s first FDA-approved infant formula manufacturing facility, is expanding infant nutrition options for parents and improving the market for Pennsylvania dairy.
“ByHeart is providing wholesome, nutritious formula for our youngest Pennsylvanians,” said Secretary Redding. “We are proud to support companies like ByHeart that embody the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation of Pennsylvania agriculture. They’re a family-owned business that saw a need from their own family experiences and are now creating healthy options for Pennsylvania families and farmers.”
Governor Tom Wolf invested $1.75 million into the ByHeart expansion through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP).
“We spent two years auditing infant formula plants around the world,” said ByHeart CEO and Co-Founder Ron Belldegrun. “We chose the commonwealth as our home-base because of local expertise, rich agricultural heritage, and a commitment to furthering value-added dairy, which – together with our expertise in infant nutrition innovation – has the potential to transform Reading into a national and global hub for the export of the most fundamental and vital food in the world.”
In 2019, ByHeart acquired and updated their own manufacturing facility in Exeter Township, rather than using a 3rd party contract manufacturer as every other new entrant has done. They have invested $21.6 million to date, including enhancements in preventative food safety measures to convert the plant from toddler food production to infant formula capability, and engaged Pennsylvania-based companies for the engineering and construction.
The team was able to tailor the facility specifically to the ByHeart formula as well as accommodate full in-house R&D capabilities.
The company created a proprietary small batch blending process that requires half the steps of the industry norm and is designed to maintain the nutritional integrity and quality of the ingredients throughout every step and uphold the highest standards of food safety. Reduced processing means ByHeart is able to maintain the natural goodness and functional benefits of their ingredients.
“We spent 2 years auditing infant formula plants around the world,” explained ByHeart CEO and Co-Founder, Ron Belldegrun. “We chose the Commonwealth as our home base because of local expertise, rich agricultural heritage, and a commitment to furthering value-add Dairy, which – together with our expertise in infant nutrition innovation – has the potential to transform Reading into a national and global hub for the export of the most fundamental and vital food in the world.”
The new facility directly supports Pennsylvania’s dairy industry. Pennsylvania ranks seventh nationally in total milk production, with nearly 520,000 cows producing more than 10.6 billion pounds of milk annually. The industry supports 53,300 jobs and contributes $14.1 billion to the state’s economy.
“At ByHeart, we are proud to own manufacturing in the US, and believe our employees are our single most important investment. We’re committed to providing excellent benefits and resources to everyone at every level – from operations to the executive team. Just as we hope to set a new standard for infant nutrition with our first of its kind infant formula, we also want to support a new baseline for how manufacturing employees are valued: the past two years have demonstrated just how fundamental our essential workers are, and their families must be supported,” said ByHeart President and Co-Founder, Mia Funt.