Robert Rothschild Farm CEO Andy Deister gave Champaign County commissioners an update on the company’s progress Thursday morning.
During the conversation, Deister outlined the company’s progress over the last couple of years, steps they have taken to stay competitive and the company’s future locally.
Deister said over the last few years there had not been investment in the business and the company had strayed away from its roots. Over the last year and a half, Deister said the company has been focused on doing the necessary thing to meet different challenges.
One of the challenges Deister referenced was competition from other companies. He said other companies have probably done a better job of marketing their businesses than Rothschild.
Deister said the company has focused on getting the sizing, pricing and product label right, innovation and doubling down on manufacturing.
As a result of efforts to improve marketing, Deister showed off a redesigned container the company launched in June aimed at modernizing the package in a move he said has been met with positive feedback.
Moving to the next phase, Deister said the company recently had administrative restructuring to get their administrative overhead in line with their sales.
“What that allows us to do is really focus our efforts now on our manufacturing and doubling down here in Urbana so no production or manufacturing or distribution jobs were affected by that,” Deister said. “We’re excited to be in partnership with the community here and we’re looking to increase our presence and our emphasis here in Urbana.”
As the company looks to ramp up production and hiring in manufacturing, commissioner Steve Hess asked if the company has enough capacity on production. Deister said right now the company does and production is an area they have made progress in.
Along with Deister, Marcia Bailey, economic development director of the Champaign Economic Partnership, and Urbana Director of Administration Kerry Brugger, were in attendance during the conversation. Previously, officals from the county and city of Urbana approved a sewer line extension for the company.
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.