WNY Cheese Enterprise, LLC, New York, announced plans to open a $49.7 million production facility in Albany, N.Y.

The new 30,000-square-foot facility is part of an innovative collaboration between Craig’s Station Ventures, Denmark-based Arla Foods and Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a national, farmer-owned, dairy cooperative headquartered in Kansas City, Mo. The facility will create 30 new jobs, and is projected to produce approximately 15 million pounds of cheese annually, which will then be transported and packaged for retail sale.

The new agriculture collaboration will include DFA managing operations and holding a controlling stake in the venture. Additionally, Arla will have a 20% stake in the facility, and will market cheese produced in Albany. Craig’s Station Creamery, a collaboration between DFA and Craig’s Station Ventures – a partnership of eight Livingston and Wyoming county dairy farms – will hold the remaining stake in the enterprise. In total, these local farms are expected to supply over 16 million gallons of raw milk each year. Construction of the new facility is underway and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

As a lifelong resident of this area and 30-year veteran of the dairy business, it’s a real honor to be a part of developing this new production facility,” says Brian Paris, general manager of Craig's Station Creamery.We have a tremendous opportunity to not only positively impact the dairy farmers in this area, but also the local community.”

“We are extremely excited and proud to partner with DFA in this venture, as it aligns perfectly with what today’s consumer is looking for—great-tasting, clean label products from a trusted, sustainable and traceable source,” adds Donald Stohrer, Jr., chief executive officer of Arla U.S. Today’s mom has a lot to worry about in her daily life. By providing her with the cheddar cheese produced through our partnership with DFA, we give her one less thing to fret about, thus making her life just a little bit easier.”

“The main drivers for this project are even stronger today than they were over two years ago when we opened the creamery. Consumers want to know who produces their food, and they want to know that it was produced in a sustainable way. We thought the timing was right to bring that same message into a high-quality Cheddar cheese,” adds Chris Noble, vice president of Noblehurst Farms, Linwood, N.Y., and partner in Craig’s Station Ventures.