Chobani picks Idaho; Kraft boosts California dairy
Chobani Greek yogurt maker Agro Farma Inc. ended speculation about the location of a second U.S. facility. The Norwich, N.Y., firm said that it will spend more than $100 million to build a high capacity plant on 200 acres of agricultural and industrial land in Twin Falls, Idaho. Expected to be operational in 2012, the opening of the new plant is expected to create around 400 new jobs.
“We visited numerous possible sites over the past several months and met a lot of great people along the way,” said Hamdi Ulukaya, Agro Farma CEO and founder. “It was a hard decision to make, but in the end, we chose Twin Falls due to its abundant milk supply, skilled labor force and tight knit local community. We’re looking forward to starting the next chapter of the Chobani story here in Idaho’s Magic Valley.
Agro Farma said its new Twin Falls site will not impact an expansion at the company’s landmark South Edmeston, N.Y., manufacturing plant.
The Visalia (Calif.) Times-Delta reported that Kraft Foods is increasing production at its Tulare, Calif., dairy, which processes parmesan cheese as well as cultured products such as cottage cheese and Krart's Greek-style Athenos yogurt. The newspaper said Kraft asked city officials about increasing its wastewater discharge by about 25 percent. A company spokeswoman confirmed plans, in part, to boost cottage cheese production. She also acknowledged that new lines resulted in as many as 50 more jobs at the facility.