The Vermont-based creamery celebrated 100 years in operation this year, and has a membership base of more than 360 farms. St. Albans says that it markets more than 3 million pounds of milk per day to customers in the northeastern US.
It’s been a member cooperative of DFA since 2003. Earlier this summer the board of directors unanimously voted to recommend a merger between the two, and the members had the final vote on July 29.
St. Albans said they ‘overwhelmingly approved’ of the deal, which should “position St. Albans members for a secure, long-term future.”
The deal officially closes August 1.
Harold Howrigan, Jr., chairman of the St. Albans Board, said, “We are incredibly excited about this new chapter for dairy farmers in Vermont. “We are very pleased with the outcome of today’s vote and are optimistic about the future our membership will have as DFA members.”
Last month, Howrigan said St. Albans has worked for two years on a strategic future plan for the co-op. He cited shifts in consumer needs, unbalanced supply and demand and milk price volatility as reason for seeking more stability.
The merger will also transfer ownership of McDermotts, a hauling company, to the DFA. The St. Albans board of directors will become part of DFA’s Northeast Area Council, and continue representing the member dairy farmers.
Leon Berthiaume, CEO of St. Albans, said, “During our 16-year partnership, we have developed a strong, collaborative working partnership with DFA. In many ways, this merger is a continuation of the strategic goals, values and mission of St. Alban’s Cooperative Creamery.”
Brad Keating, senior VP and COO of DFA’s Northeast Area, said, “We are excited to welcome the hardworking members and employees of St. Albans to the DFA family. Together, we are committed to investing in continuing the strong tradition of dairy farming in the Northeast.”