January 27, 2017

Talks Advance on New Michigan Processing Facility

 |  By: Mike Opperman

Glanbia, Dairy Farmers of America, Michigan Milk Producers Association and Foremost Farms USA announced that they are in advanced discussions to create a stand-alone joint venture to build and operate a new cheese and whey production facility in the state of Michigan.  Upon completion, the plant is projected to process 8 million pounds of milk per day, making it one of the largest dairy processing facilities in Michigan.  It is proposed that 50% of the joint venture will be owned by Glanbia and the balance will be owned by DFA, Michigan Milk and Foremost Farms. 

As part of the proposed joint venture DFA, Michigan Milk and Foremost Farms would supply all milk required by the plant while Glanbia will have full responsibility for all commercial, technical and operational aspects of the business.  If the project proceeds as planned, commissioning of the new facility is expected to take place in the second half of 2019.

 “We are delighted to announce this exciting proposed project in the state of Michigan with DFA, Michigan Milk Producers Association and Foremost Farms,” says Brian Phelan, CEO of Glanbia Nutritionals.  “Consistent with Glanbia’s growth strategy, this proposed venture will build on Ganbia’s position as the number one producer of American-style cheddar cheese and simultaneously expand our global position as a supplier of advanced technology whey protein to the nutritional sector.”  Phelan says this proposed joint venture is a strategic move by all the partners to benefit from the growing, large-scale milk pool in the state of Michigan.

Last spring milk production in Michigan outgrew processing capacity leaving dairy producers to dump milk. A perfect storm of higher cow numbers and higher production per cow caused processing plants to operate 24-7, with some at more than 20 percent over capacity.