The new milk processing facility, set to open in 2025, will have capacity to serve milk to over 750 Walmart stores and Sam’s Club locations in the South East US. Based in Valdosta, Georgia – a central location with a strong supply of milk according to Walmart – the plant will receive milk from local farmers. DairyReporter understands the Valdosta location will solely produce gallons and half gallons of whole, 2%, 1%, skim and 1% chocolate milk for the Great Value and Sam’s Club Member’s Mark brands.
A spokesperson for the retailer told us: “Because the facility will be owned and operated by Walmart, we’ll have the ability to control the entire bottling and packing process to ensure it meets our rigorous quality standards for our private brand offerings and follows the appropriate regulations set by the industry.”
In turn, this would improve transparency around sourcing and allow the retailer to build a level of resilience into its supply chain. “We understand the way our customers' shop has evolved over recent years and more customers are seeking greater awareness of where their food comes from, with higher expectations around quality and sourcing,” the spokesperson said. “Additionally, it’s important to build more resiliency and capacity in the industry.
“Opening a Walmart owned and operated milk processing facility allows us greater control over the products entering our stores so we can continue to bring the highest quality offerings possible, all while keeping prices low and ensuring strong supply to meet customer demand.”
“Our customers expect high quality from the products we offer, and the new facility will help ensure we continue to meet that demand, in an efficient way, with more visibility in the supply chain,” they added.
Walmart opened its first milk processing facility in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 2018. Additional investments include opening a beef facility in Thomasville, Georgia and building a second one in Olathe, Kansas, as well as making equity investments and long-term commercial agreements with rancher-owned Sustainable Beef LLC and vertical farming company Plenty.