MWC is one of the most technically advanced dairy processing facilities in the U.S.
Glanbia Nutritionals’ new $470 million state-of-the-art cheese and whey plant in St. Johns, Michigan, has begun receiving milk, marking the start of operations for the facility and beginning the commissioning phase.
Commissioning operations at MWC will take place over the next eight months. When fully operational, the 375,000 square foot facility based on a 120 acre site will process 3.6m litres of milk per day (8m pounds) into a range of superior quality block cheese and value added whey products for U.S. and international markets.
A joint venture between Glanbia Nutritionals, Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA), and Select Milk Producers Inc., MWC is one of the most technically advanced dairy processing facilities in the U.S., designed and built over a two year period to meet exacting food manufacturing standards.
In determining the site for the new facility, St. Johns was selected due to the growing supply of high quality milk in the region, the excellent transportation infrastructure in the region, proximity to customers, and the positive business environment and strong local workforce reputation in the region.
Commenting, Brian Phelan, CEO of Glanbia Nutritionals said: “We are very pleased to reach this important milestone on our journey to deliver a new ultramodern dairy facility in Michigan for our customers.
“As we enter this key commissioning phase and begin production at the plant, I would like to thank the entire Glanbia Nutritionals team, and in particular the onsite team, whose expertise and focus have kept the project on track and on budget particularly during the challenges of the last seven months.
“In addition, I would like to thank the State and City authorities for their continued support and of course our great partners, DFA & Select Milk Producers.”
Dennis Rodenbaugh, Executive Vice President and President of Council Operations and Ingredients at Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) added: “We are excited about this important milestone in the operation, which not only will play a critical role in the dairy industry in Michigan, but will bring value to our family farmer-owners here and across the country.”
Rance Miles, CEO of Select Milk Producers concluded: “This partnership began two decades ago with the creation of the Southwest Cheese Joint Venture by bringing dairy farmers, processors and local communities together to achieve beneficial results for all, and this new facility in Michigan under the same JV partnership is a continuation of that success.”
Glanbia Nutritionals, DFA and Select Milk Producers are partners in another joint venture in Clovis, New Mexico called Southwest Cheese, which is the largest cheese and whey manufacturing facility in the world.
Southwest Cheese opened in 2005 and recently concluded a $130 million expansion in response to growing global demand for dairy products.