Posted: April 11, 2011
A South American dairy products company, Alpina Foods, plans to build its first U.S. yogurt plant in Batavia, N.Y., as part of a $15 million project.
Alpina has nine plants in South America and plans to build a 28,000- square-foot factory in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park as part of its plan to establish a physical presence in the United States.
Julian Jaramillo, Alpina’s chief executive officer, said the company picked Batavia over other potential sites in several different states because of its proximity to a supply of milk from local farmers, as well as the skills of local workers.
“It is an optimal location,” Jaramillo said.
Alpina will receive an extensive package of incentives from state and local agencies, ranging from benefits under the state’s Excelsior Jobs Program, along with $750,000 from a grant program operated by the state Office of Community Renewal. National Fuel Gas Co. and National Grid also have agreed to help pay to extend utility lines to the new plant. The project also will receive property, sales and mortgage tax breaks through the Genesee County Economic Development Center and other aid from the Town of Batavia.
Alpina executives said construction on the new plant is expected to begin in August, with operations beginning by May 2012.
The region’s milk producers, combined with a location that offers easy access to major markets along the East Coast and Midwest, give Western New York a competitive advantage in the agriculture business, said Dean Norton, president of the New York Farm Bureau.
Alpina, which also makes cheese, baby food and dessert products, runs nine facilities across Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador and has annual sales of nearly $740 million. The company’s headquarters in the U. S. is in Miami.
Source: Buffalo News, By David Robinson