Lakeland's Treatt Readies For Expansion

Treatt USA in Lakeland, an independent ingredients supplier to the flavor and fragrance industries, has bought additional land in Polk County to prepare for a future expansion.

The company, at 4900 Lakeland Commerce Parkway behind the Ruthven Business Park off State Road 33 (Combee Road), is near Interstate 4. Over the years, it has also acquired other facilities in Polk, including a former Rack Room Shoes distribution facility, and remodeled them for its ongoing expansion.

The expansion is not imminent, but the company is prepared for it, says James DeGennaro, senior business marketing manager for the Central Florida Development Council in Lakeland.

Treatt USA, which employs about 65 in Lakeland, makes natural citrus oil concentrates and specialties for enhancing juices and flavors. It also stocks aroma chemicals and operates a lab for quality control and for research and development. It even uses watermelons to create flavors.

It is owned by 123-year-old British flavor manufacturer Treatt PLC, which is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange. Treatt USA is one of six international firms doing  flavor and essence manufacturing in Polk. The companies come from many countries, including Ireland, Japan and Great Britain. Why do they come to Polk County, Florida?

"The attraction is citrus, because they use the oils and essences for a wide variety of products," DeGennaro says. "One came, then two, then we started to build this critical mass."

There are 91 foreign companies in Polk out of 650 foreign companies in Tampa Bay and Orlando, according to a 2009 study by the Tampa Bay Partnership and information from the Council.

The 91 foreign companies have a $178 million in economic impact in Polk, DeGennaro says.

Writer: Dave Szymanski

Source: James DeGennaro, Central Florida Development Council

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