LiDestri Food and Drink and Crop’s N.V. of Belgium have agreed to partner to form a venture to manufacture ready-to-eat-meals at a new 65,000 square-foot facility at Eastman Business Park. The partnership will result in the creation of 123 new full-time jobs over the next five years, and 900 jobs will be retained at LiDestri’s two Finger Lakes region locations. In addition to the construction of the new facility, the $51.3 million project will also include the addition of manufacturing lines, a rail extension and utility upgrades.

Up to $4 million for this project is being made available through the Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative. Another $4 million may also be provided through the Excelsior Tax Credit Program in exchange for job creation commitments. The URI capital grant stipulates that $1 million of the total $4 million grant is tied to the region’s anti-poverty initiative. The company will need to hire 33 people meeting the eligibility requirements for the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative.

“We are excited because we are bringing an innovative product from our European partners that not only provides jobs for families but an innovative, on-trend healthy choice for families,” said John Lidestri, co-president of LiDestri Food and Drink.

LiDestri Food and Drink manufactures pasta sauces, dips, and salsas. The company also provides private label services for sauces and dips, oils and vinegars, spirits, and organic products. The company was originally formed in 1975 as Cantisano Foods, Inc. The company’s name was changed in 2003 when it was purchased by the LiDestri family.

Crop’s N.V. manufactures and distributes frozen food in Europe. It offers mono fruits, mixed fruits, purees, smoothies, bakery, and fruit buffets; and red, yellow, citrus, exotic, forest, organic fruits, etc. The company also provides mono and steam vegetables, vegetable stir fries, grilled vegetables, and bio products. The company was founded in 1948 and is based in Belgium.