Canada-based dairy processor Agropur Inc., is investing more than $55 million ($U.S.) in a Wisconsin facility to increase Feta cheese production. The expansion, underway at Weyauwega, Wis., is expected to be completed in 2016.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is providing Agropur with $1.65 million in Economic Development Tax Credits over the next few years. In order to receive the full credits, Agropur must retain the existing 146 jobs at the facility, create 22 new jobs and invest at least $55 million in capital investment.
“This Agropur investment truly shows how committed we are to establishing our leadership in the U.S. market and to the future of the Wisconsin dairy industry,” said Agropur Chief Executive Officer Robert Coallier.
“There is a lot of tradition, skill, and work ethic among our employees, and we are recognized in the market for having high-quality products,” said Doug Simon, president of the USA Cheese Business Unit for Agropur. “We are a leader in Feta cheese production and this will allow us to maintain that leadership position. We are very excited about this investment and in the future of the Wisconsin dairy industry as it provides employment opportunities and a stable home for milk produced in the area.”
Agropur has a dozen U.S. plants, including four in Wisconsin. Its Feta cheese was named 2014 World Champion Feta and 2013 United States Champion Feta. Founded in 1938, Agropur reported sales of $3.8 billion at the end of the 2013 fiscal year. The cooperative has 3,473 dairy producer owners and close to 8,000 employees, processing more than 11.2 billion lbs. of milk per year in its 36 North American plants. Visit www.agropur.com.