Construction work has officially begun on the $555 Million cheese plant in St. Johns, Mich. This joint plant, owned by Glanbia Nutritionals, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and Select Milk Producers will process 8 million pounds of milk per day and produce about 300 million pounds of cheese and whey products annually.
"This size of this plant is huge. We're looking at 20% plus of the total amount of milk produced in the state of Michigan," says Carl Bednarski, president of the Michigan Farm Bureau.
Glanbia, DFA and Select also announced that they have entered an agreement with Proliant Dairy Ingredients to process the whey permeate from the plant. It’s expected that the new plant will have the capacity to process a quarter of the milk produced in Michigan each year.
Recently the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) has filed suit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for failing to require third-party audits of food label claims such as “humane” and “sustainable.”
“The USDA’s current policy surrounding the approval of animal raising claims on meat and poultry packages utterly fails consumers,” said Dena Jones, director of AWI’s farm animal program.
The lawsuit accuses USDA of an unreasonable delay in responding to AWI’s 2014 petition for rulemaking, which asked the agency to require independent certification of animal raising claims including “animal compassionate” and “raised with care.”
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