DAIRY BRIEFS

Organic yogurt processor Stonyfield Farm, Londonderry, N.H., said it hired Walt Freese, former CEO at Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc., to become Stonyfield's president and chief executive officer later in January. In turn, Co-Founder Gary Hirshberg said he will continue as Stonyfield chairman and shareholder.

The Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA) Tillamook, Ore., said it will reorganize operations, packaging and distribution activities to reduce cost while expanding market reach beyond the Pacific Northwest. TCCA said will move some packaging operations to two co-packers to cut, wrap and distribute Tillamook cheese. "The new co-packers have facilities that are more centrally located to our growing customer base. This move will improve operational efficiencies, decrease the time to market and the associated costs, making TCCA more sustainable as a farmer-owned co-operative," officials said. TCCA's Tillamook, Ore., facility will continue to make, cut, package and distribute Tillamook cheese.

Estate Cheese Group LLC (ECG), Sonoma, Calif., said it acquired Sonoma Creamery LLC, formerly Sonoma Foods Inc., from Pulmuone USA Inc. and Monterey Gourmet Foods Inc. Terms were not disclosed. ECG officials said it has retained all Sonoma employees including David Viviani, vice president of marketing and grandson of co-founder Celso Viviani; and Lou Biaggi, vice president of operations.