b'SETTING A GLOBAL TABLEfood & beverage hubyear. Serving customers locally andCompany UNITED is the secondspecialty oils, wines, and more, place worldwide, APGGs customers includelargest privately held Coca-ColaGeorgias products on a national and major confectioners, peanut butterbottler in North America and the thirdinternational stage,manufacturers, and snack-nut roasters.largest bottler of Coca-Cola products in the United States. Explaining the long journey from the The 135,000-square-foot foodkitchen table to the grocery store shelf, processing operation will enable APGGValue-Added Mahan says, People dont understand to manufacture peanut paste, granules,From farmers markets and locally- the amount of hard work and actual peanut butter, and roasted peanuts for itsowned shops to big-box groceryfoundation building that has to be done customers.stores, Georgia Grown value-addedbefore they can successfully take their Tifton, Tift County products claim premium retail shelfproduct to market.space.In Tifton, its hard to miss the massiveProviding that all-important marketing 14-foot-tall Coca-Cola bottle on displayWhile the term value-added hasplatform is the Georgia Grown program. at the new Coca-Cola Bottling Companymultiple layers, within the agriculturalPart of the Georgia Department of UNITED sales and distribution center. Asector, it represents the economicAgriculture, Georgia Grown introduces focal point along I-75, the $65 million,value or consumer appeal of a productconsumers to producers, processors, 343,000-square-foot center officiallyby changing or transferring thatsuppliers, distributors, retailers, and opened in fall 2021.product (commodity) from its originalagritourism sites.state to another.With more than 200 employees, the centerA powerful marketing brand, Georgia will distribute around 15 million cases ofIts taking a commodity, like pecansGrown has gained global popularity in the Coca-Cola products annually to customersand making pecan butter, says Lindapast decade. throughout South Georgia and the FloridaMahan, founder of LEM Ag & Specialty panhandle. Marketing. That pecan butterIt has exploded because there has been becomes a value-added product. a platform or call to market that allowed Founded in 1902 and headquartered inpeople who might not have been able Birmingham, Alabama, Coca-Cola BottlingSmall food entrepreneurs, from jamsto navigate those waters previously, and jellies to artisan cheese, honey, CONTRIBUTEDProcessing Hub: Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County is home to multiple food and beverage manufacturing facilities, including Protein Plus, MANA (Mother Administrative Nutritive Aid), Golden Boy Foods, and Polar Beverages. 24 SG MAGAZINE| WINTER 2022 BUSINESS + CULTURE25'