Workers at Batavia yogurt plant left in limbo

Dec 11, 2015

The massive Muller Quaker yogurt plant in Batavia has apparently been sold and has shut down.

The massive Mueller-Quaker yogurt plant in Batavia has been shut down, though officials say it will re-open soon under new ownership.
Credit WBFO News File Photo

A PepsiCo spokesman on Thursday said the company and its German partner are shutting down production at the plant, which opened with much fanfare and state money in 2013.

The spokesman said the company will work to minimize job losses among the plant's 200 employees.

The $208 million yogurt plant was opened by Germany's Theo Muller Group and PepsiCo subsidiary Quaker Oats in the spring of 2013 with about $14 million in state tax credits.

But Assemblyman Stephen Hawley says there is a new owner who will reopen the plant once the deal is complete. He says it's no threat to dairy farmers in the area because yogurt sales are strong and there are other markets for milk.

Hawley says the new owner will be The Dairy Farmers of America milk cooperative, which has 14,000 members. He says the hopes are for most of plant's employees to be re-hired. It's not clear how long that ownership transition might take.

Hawley says the smaller Alpina yogurt plant in Batavia is ready to start a second shift and add perhaps 30 employees.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.