California Dairies has broken ground on a 220,000-square-foot milk processing facility in Kern County, California, near Bakersfield. The plant will be built on 30 acres of land and feature ultra-high temperature (UHT) and extended shelf-life (ESL) milk processing. The facility is expected to create approximately 100 new jobs when fully operational in 2023. 

CDI, the largest dairy farmer-owned cooperative in California and the second largest in the United States, is building this state-of-the-art milk processing facility under the name Valley Natural Beverages. The project is being built in northern Kern County, a region with significant milk production but no local processing facilities. Not only will this investment significantly reduce the transportation distances of milk produced in Kern County, it will also further demonstrate CDI’s commitment to sustainable solutions by incorporating renewable energy sources and waste conservation as key priorities in the facility and operational design. 

 CDI and its family-owned dairy farms have a long history of prioritizing on-farm sustainability. In 2011, CDI co-founded Dairy Cares, a leading non-profit pursuing research and innovation in the area of sustainable dairy practices in California. More recently, CDI has adopted the U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment, which aims to be carbon neutral or better by the year 2050. 

About California Dairies, Inc.

California Dairies, Inc. is the largest member-owned milk marketing and processing cooperative in California, producing 40 percent of California’s milk. Co-owned by more than 300 dairy producers who ship nearly 17 billion pounds of Real California Milk annually, California Dairies, Inc. is a manufacturer of quality butter, fluid milk products, and milk powders. In addition, California Dairies, Inc. is the home of two leading and well-respected brands of butter – Challenge and Danish Creamery. California Dairies’ quality dairy products are available in all 50 United States and in more than 50 foreign countries.