The purchase of 150 acres from the city of Visalia by California Dairies, Inc. (CDI), will quadruple the footprint the state’s largest dairy cooperative has in the city. Currently operating from a 55-acre site, CDI made the purchase in a closed door meeting, according to the Visalia Times-Delta.
CDI’s senior vice president of operations told the paper he did not expect the entire acreage to be used for a new plant, citing export needs. “We are a major exporter these days,” he told the paper. “We are shipping so many milk powder containers to the Port of LA that we could use a rail shipping facility. We used to send five container loads of powder but now we ship 60.”
The new acreage is right on the Union Pacific rail line.
According to the CDI website, the cooperative currently operates from 6 locations, including the powdered milk plant in Visalia. Other locations produce powder, blended fluid products, butter, cheese, and condensed products.
The Visalia site is already undergoing expansion to install a $4.2 million, 130-foot evaporator. CDI manufactures 786 million pounds of milk powder per year using 12 dryers and evaporators. That total equates to 40 percent of the U.S. supply, allowing it to lead the country in the category.
Source: Visalia Times-Delta