Hilmar Cheese Co., Inc., Hilmar, Calif., announced plans to increase cheese capacity and add 500-pound barrel production at its Dalhart, Texas, manufacturing site. The company currently processes cheese into 40-pound and 640-pound blocks.

This new expansion will increase production capacity by 20% when completed in 2016.

“We are expanding to meet our customers’ growing demand for our products,” says David Ahlem, chief operating officer. “Both global and domestic cheese consumption continues to increase.”

Hilmar Cheese has continually grown the Texas facility. It was built from a Greenfield site in 2005, and began processing cheese in September 2007.

In 2010, the facility almost doubled capacity with additional milk storage, four additional milk receiving bays and an expanded cheese production line. On the whey processing side, additional equipment enhanced the whey protein product offering.

In 2012, improvements included additional water conservation and recycling capabilities to further enhance sustainability efforts. In 2014, Hilmar Cheese added new capabilities on an existing 40-pound block cheese production line.

“Texas continues to be a great place to invest in cheese processing with plenty of available milk and a very stable regulated milk pricing environment,” adds Ahlem.