New cheese and whey production facility to open in Michigan

Glanbia Nutritionals, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and Select Milk Producers Inc. (Select), have announced that they have, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, selected the City of St. Johns, Michigan as the preferred location for their new joint venture large-scale cheese and whey production facility for the State of Michigan. The facility is expected to be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2020 at a cost of $470 million (€410m).

The new facility will process 3.6m litres of milk per day (8m pounds) into a range of cheese (135,000mt per year) and whey products for US and international markets, employing approximately 250 staff when in full production. In addition, the partners confirm that an agreement has been reached with Proliant Dairy Ingredients to process the whey permeate. Proliant will invest $85m in an adjoining facility, creating up to 38 jobs.

The preferred site in St. Johns meets key selection criteria in terms of strategic location relative to milk supply, strong transport links, a positive business environment and labour availability. The partners have engaged with State and City officials as well as community leaders, to address issues such as cost, infrastructure and planning in order to finalize the decision. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation today approved a package of incentives that address these areas.

Commenting on the announcement, Brian Phelan, chief executive officer of Glanbia Nutritionals, says, “The finalisation of the preferred location is a critical step on our journey to deliver a new ultra-modern dairy facility in Michigan. We want to thank the state and city authorities for their continued support as we move to commence construction as soon as possible.”

“The construction of this plant in St. Johns will not only address a growing industry need for Michigan plant capacity, but it also adds value and supports our local dairy farm families in this area,” comments Greg Wickham, chief financial officer at DFA.

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