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Brindisi hopes to bring Upstate, Downstate NY together with economic initiative

By ANNA MEILER

ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) -- Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi announced an economic initiative on Wednesday that he hopes will bring Upstate and Downstate New York together and boost businesses in both areas.

"This is a plan that takes the needs of downstate and mixes them with the resources of upstate for the betterment of the entire state," said Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, Assembly District 119.

Food and beverage businesses in Brooklyn are booming, but they don't have enough space to produce their goods, which can range from soda and candy to baked goods, sauces and more. So, they rely on other companies to produce and pack their foods and then ship it back to Brooklyn. But, they've been doing that business in neighboring states like Pennsylvania. Brindisi said with about 20 packaging companies in Central New York, we can bring that business here.

The process is called co-packaging.

"Copackaging is basically the process of preparing and or packaging food on behalf of a contract or another company. Even simpler, it's what Matt's Brewery does right now for Brooklyn Beer. They brew it in Utica," said Brindisi.

FX Matt Brewery has been using that model for over 25 years and the CFO says it's a win-win situation, creating more jobs in Utica and in Brooklyn.

"It creates jobs, it makes more uses of facilities, it makes those companies probably more profitable so they can invest more in their community and build that business and the whole thing works," said Nick Matt, Chairman and CFO of FX Matt Brewery.

Brindisi issued a survey in Brooklyn and has gotten a response from over 70 food and beverage businesses. Some packaging companies in Upstate New York are already jumping on board.

"DeIorio's is very appreciative of Assemblyman Brindisi's continued support and for presenting this initiative, which we believe  benefits both DeIorio's and our down state neighbors.  In turn, we believe this could help the Mohawk Valley with additional employment opportunities," the CFO of DeIorio's, Michelle Burnett, in a statement to NEWSChannel 2.

Brindisi hopes even more companies will get involved.

"I want companies who have the capacity, the space and desire to grow here in the region to contact my office and add their names to a growing list of companies looking to take a bit out of this delicious market," said Brindisi.

He plans on bringing Brooklyn businesses upstate in the fall to tour some of the packaging companies and hopes to get the ball rolling within a year.

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