Facility to be one of nation’s largest, support Indiana’s agriculture industry
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (March 18, 2016) – Walmart, the nation’s largest grocer, announced plans today to establish a milk processing plant in Fort Wayne, providing new opportunities for Indiana’s dairy industry and creating more than 200 good-paying jobs ranging from milk processing to transportation by the end of 2017.
“Today, Indiana’s agriculture industry contributes $31 billion to the state’s economy and supports more than 100,000 Hoosier jobs,” said Governor Mike Pence. “Last year, Walmart opened a 1.2 million-square-foot distribution center in Plainfield, creating more than 300 jobs, and today we celebrate 200 more. I’m proud to welcome this expansion as we work to create quality jobs for Hoosiers and support our Indiana farmers.”
With construction anticipated to begin this summer, Walmart will build a more than 250,000-square-foot milk processing plant, which is expected to be one of the largest in the industry, at 2322 W. Pleasant Center Road. The highly-efficient plant will leverage the latest technologies to produce Great Value and Member’s Mark white and chocolate milk for more than 600 Walmart stores and Sam’s Club locations in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Northern Kentucky. Walmart estimates that milk processing will begin in the summer of 2017.
“By operating our own plant and working directly with the dairy supply chain in the Midwest, we’ll further reduce operating costs and pass those savings on to our customers so that they can save money,” said Tony Airoso, senior vice president of sourcing strategy for Walmart U.S. “This facility is an example of how we are always finding efficiencies within the supply chain to deliver everyday low prices and high quality groceries.”
Indiana Dairy Producers is pleased that our Indiana State Dept. of Agriculture (ISDA) grasped the idea of the need for more dairy processing to enhance the marketing opportunity for Indiana’s dairy farm families. They not only understood but immediately commissioned a study and hence the 2015 Indiana Dairy Strategy – confirming the need for more processing in our state. Indiana Dairy Producers applauds our Ag friendly Administration, the ISDA, and the Indiana Economic Development Corp (IEDC) partnering to bring this project to Indiana – and Walmart for making the decision to locate in Indiana, making our dream start to become a reality! We believe this brightens the future for our Indiana dairy industry while adding a great economic impact to our state.