Walmart opens milk processing plant

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Walmart opened a milk processing plant in Fort Wayne on June 13.

The new plant will produce Great Value white and chocolate milk for nearly 500 Walmart stores in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky.

Bottling began the second week of June. The plant will be at full production later this year.

Milk will be sourced from nearly 30 dairy farms in Indiana and Michigan. The farms are an average of 140 miles from the plant.

Gov. Eric Holcomb celebrated with other leaders at the grand opening of the 250,000 square foot complex.

“This new facility is a vote of confidence in our state, in the northeast Indiana region and the Fort Wayne community,” Holcomb said.

“Even more, it’s a vote of confidence in our people. Today, we celebrate 300 new jobs for talented Hoosiers. That’s great news for those employees and their families, and it’s more evidence that Indiana is on a roll with its pro-business climate and skilled workforce.”

Construction began in 2016. Walmart hired around 200 associates to work in milk processing and transportation. More than 100 additional jobs were created in the Hoosier dairy industry as a result.

“This new plant is a perfect example of the kinds of efficiencies Walmart seeks in our supply chain to benefit our customers,” said Tony Airoso, senior vice president of sourcing strategy for Walmart.

“Farmers and associates in Indiana have been critical in getting us to this point. As we begin to bottle milk for our customers in the area, they will continue to be the biggest factor in our success.”

Walmart worked closely with local officials to build the plant in northeast Indiana after the Indiana State Department of Agriculture released its 2015 dairy strategy.

The strategy aims to expand the Hoosier dairy industry and capitalize on the state’s growing production capability and workforce.

“When a company of Walmart’s size and scope comes to our community with hundreds of steady jobs, we welcome their investment,” said Therese Brown, Allen County commissioner

This article provided by NewsEdge.