New cheese and whey plant MWC begins production in Michigan

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

When fully operational the plant will process more than 2.9bn pounds of milk into more than 300m pounds of block cheese and 20m pounds of value-added whey protein powders each year. Pic: Glanbia
When fully operational the plant will process more than 2.9bn pounds of milk into more than 300m pounds of block cheese and 20m pounds of value-added whey protein powders each year. Pic: Glanbia

Related tags: Dfa, Dairy, Milk, Glanbia, Glanbia nutritionals, Whey, Cheese

MWC, a $470m cheese and whey plant in St. Johns, Michigan, began receiving milk this week from local farmers, marking the first day of operations for the facility and beginning of the commissioning phase.

Commissioning operations at MWC will take place over the next eight months and will see the initial 1m pounds of milk per day increase to its designed capacity of 8m pounds per day.

When fully operational, this 375,000 square foot facility built on a 120-acre lot will employ 260 local people and will process more than 2.9bn pounds of milk from local farmers into more than 300m pounds of block cheese and 20m pounds of value-added whey protein powders each year. 

A joint venture between Glanbia Nutritionals, Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA), and Select Milk Producers Inc., MWC was designed and built over a two-year period.

In determining the site for the new facility, St. Johns was selected due to the growing supply of milk in the region, the transportation infrastructure in the region, proximity to customers, and the positive business environment and strong local workforce reputation in the region.

Brian Phelan, CEO of Glanbia Nutritionals, said, “As we enter this key commissioning phase and begin production at the plant, I would like to thank the entire Glanbia Nutritionals team, and in particular the onsite team, whose expertise and focus have kept the project on track and on budget particularly during the challenges of the last seven months. In addition, I would like to thank the State and City authorities for their continued support and of course our great partners, DFA & Select Milk Producers.”  

Rance Miles, CEO of Select Milk Producers said, “This partnership began two decades ago with the creation of the Southwest Cheese JV by bringing dairy farmers, processors and local communities together to achieve beneficial results for all. This new facility in Michigan under the same JV partnership is a continuation of that success.”

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