One of the largest yogurt manufacturing facilities in the country is now officially open in just off Route 33 in Batavia. The state-of-the-art facility will be doing plenty of of business with local dairy farms.
The new Muller-Quaker Dairy facility is a joint venture between global food and beverage giant PepsiCo and the Theo Muller Group, Germany's largest privately held dairy business. PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi says the opening is a celebration of strong and successful partnerships.
"Public, private, local, international, every which way. And this is going to allow us to offer consumers across the United States a healthful nutritious product made right here in Batavia, NY," Nooyi says.
The companies invested over $200 million in the facility. Its three lines produce around 120,000 yogurt cups an hour and the goal is to expand to eight lines.
Stefan Muller's roots in the dairy business go back five generations. Muller says the facility is a new chapter in his family's history.
"For us as a company, the journey to the country of boundless opportunities, it's really thrilling...And everybody who's looking outside to the yogurt facility knows that we are really here to stay. And we are here to win," Muller says.
So far the plant in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park employs about 180 people. Senator Charles Schumer says there is not only room to increase yogurt production, but the agri-park can grow as well.
"It is hoped that not only...that we could employ as many as 1,200 more people on the unused acreage when other food processors learn that the transportation advantages, the food production advantages, and just the workforce advantages that we have here in this area are second to none," Schumer says.
Schumer says all the milk used by the Muller Quaker facility will come from the 390 local dairy farms that make up one of the most concentrated milk production region's in the U.S.