Foremost Farms, DFA and MMPA To Explore Mega-Cheese Plant in Michigan
Foremost Farms, Dairy Farmers of America and Michigan Milk Producers Association (MPPA) announced this week they are exploring the possibility of jointly building a 6 million pound per day cheese plant in Michigan.
Michigan is currently awash in milk, particularly during the spring flush, and is desperately short of processing capacity. Milk is being shipped to other states, often at a discount, to avoid dumping it.
The plant under consideration would process more than 2 billion pounds of milk annually, and produce 220 million pounds of American-style cheese. The co-ops should have a firmer idea of plant specifics, and whether to move forward with it, by the end of the year, says Sheila Burkhardt, senior director of member and government relations for MMPA.
Statements from the three farmer-owned co-ops:
• “Michigan dairy producers own some of the most progressive and efficient dairy operations in the world, and they have positioned themselves to be a long-term supplier to domestic and global markets,” explains Michael Doyle, president & CEO, Foremost Farms USA. “Collectively, our respective organizations are extremely pleased we can come together to positively address this growing market.”
• Greg Wickham, chief financial officer, Dairy Farmers of America, says, “Strategically, Michigan is well situated geographically to serve not only major U.S. markets, but also global markets. In addition to the quality milk supply in the region, it has a solid transportation infrastructure, one well served by major highways and various ports.”
• “We are excited to potentially leverage the strengths and assets of our three cooperatives in order to accommodate the growing milk production in Michigan,” said Joe Diglio, general manager, Michigan Milk Producers Association. “Working collaboratively helps enhance our ability to better serve dairy producers in this region and align the marketing strengths of our organizations together.”
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