DFA sells New York former yogurt plant to HP Hood

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

HP Hood will use the plant to produce extended-shelf-life beverages starting in the second quarter of 2019.
HP Hood will use the plant to produce extended-shelf-life beverages starting in the second quarter of 2019.

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The Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) sold its yogurt manufacturing plant in Batavia, New York, to dairy processor HP Hood LLC who will in invest $200m in facility updates.

HP Hood was founded in 1846 and is headquartered in Massachusetts with four production facilities in New York state. It manufacturers national and “super-regional”​ dairy brands and franchise products including Lactaid, Coffee Creamers, Hershey’s Milk, and Blue Diamond Almond Breeze.

The facility was originally constructed by Müller-Quaker Dairy (a joint venture between PepsiCo and Theo Müller Group of Germany) to process yogurt in 2013. DFA purchased the plant in 2016 after Müller-Quaker stopped production.

DFA spoke with more than a dozen companies before selling the plant to HP Hood, according to president and CEO Rick Smith.

“Our primary goal was to ensure that this facility remained active in dairy for the long term,”​ Smith said. “HP Hood is a great fit to serve the local milk shed and community.”

As the fourth highest producing dairy state, New York’s dairy industry is the state’s largest agricultural sector with nearly 5,000 dairy farms and more than 600,000 dairy cows.

$200m investment

HP Hood said it will invest $200m over several years and create 230 jobs in New York state over five years. Empire State Development will provide up to $5m in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits and a $2m capital grant from the Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

Starting this summer, the dairy processor will repurpose the 363,000-square-foot facility with new processing equipment to manufacture extended-shelf-life beverages. The company will also build a 100,000-square-foot refrigerated warehouse. Construction will employ 524 temporary jobs with a total payroll of $26m.

“We are fortunate that our need for more capacity coincided with an opportunity to expand our capabilities in the great state of New York,”​ John A. Kaneb, president and CEO of HP Hood, said.

The company said it will begin operations in the second quarter of 2019. 

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