A new milk bottling and storage facility has been opened by Aurora Organic Dairy in central Missouri.
On April 17, a special ceremony was hosted by Aurora Organic Dairy that included state and local officials at the brand new processing plant in Columbia. The plant will serve as the second processing facility for the organic milk company and will be 127,000 sq. feet in size.
“Our company’s mission is to deliver high-quality organic milk with integrity to everyone, everywhere,” says Aurora Organic Dairy Chief Executive Officer Scott McGinty.
Aurora Organic Dairy owns eight farms located in Texas and Colorado. Several of the farms are located near its other processing plant outside Platteville, Colorado. The company is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado.
According to Sonja Tuitele, director of communications for Aurora Organic Dairy, the majority of milk will come from company-owned organic dairy farms. However, Aurora Organic Dairy does purchase milk from other third-party producers who meet their standards for animal welfare and other supplier requirements, so the remainder of the milk could come from other farms.
The new Missouri plant will feature state-of-the-art aseptic milk bottling line, allowing Aurora Organic Dairy to distribute shelf-stable organic milk products.
Milk products produced at the plant include 8, 12, 16 and 32 oz. bottles of varying shapes and sizes, along with half-gallon cartons. The plant will also produce flavored milks, half-and-half and heavy whipped creamers. There will be varieties of milk offered that include, A2 production, organic grass-fed, Omega 3 fortified and lactose-reduced.
“Products like these not only offer consumers more organic product choices, but they also help expand markets for organic milk producers. Innovation is rapidly changing the face of dairy beverages like never before, and organic milk is no exception,” McGinty says.
The on-site cold storage facility includes a robotic retrieval system. Products will be disturbed by Aurora Organic Dairy to all 50 states from the plant.
“Aurora Organic Dairy is a great company that will ultimately bring more than 160 quality jobs to Missouri,” Governor Mike Parson says. “Missouri’s central location and infrastructure network are two keys to attracting and retaining good businesses here in our state. We look forward to supporting their growth for years to come.”
Gov. Parson estimates that the dairy company has invested $150 million into the community with the project.
The company bought the 102 acre site that the plant sits on for $2 million from the city of Columbia. Aurora Organic Dairy is being given a reduced property tax that was approved by the city, county and school officials through Chapter 100 bonds that last for at least 10 years.
The Missourian newspaper shares that the bonds were purchased from Boone County and used to buy equipment by the county, while Aurora Organic Dairy is leasing the equipment back. Aurora Organic Dairy is receiving a 75% property tax saving in exchange for not owning the equipment. Payments through the programs by Aurora Organic Dairy are estimated to be at $1.75 million per year and will be distributed as tax revenues to the local community.
“This project symbolizes the advancements in agriculture and bringing high-quality organic milk to market,” adds Columbia Mayor Brian Treece. “It also solidifies Columbia’s economic advantage for agri-business and food manufacturing companies.”