Upstate Niagara to acquire Kraft Heinz cheese plant in New York
Global food and beverage company Kraft Heinz has agreed to sell its cheese plant located in Campbell, New York, US, to Upstate Niagara, a farmer-owned cooperative that manufactures and distributes dairy products.
Financial details of the transaction have not been revealed by either company, and the deal is expected to be completed over the next 30 to 60 days.
Kraft Heinz corporate and government affairs senior vice-president Michael Mullen said: “We’re thrilled to announce that Upstate Niagara Cooperative has agreed to purchase our Campbell dairy facility and has signed a long-term co-packing agreement with Kraft Heinz.
“This deal guarantees that at least 125 jobs will remain in Campbell with anticipated growth to 150 within a year, during which our business customers will experience zero disruption in the service of our dairy products.
“As part of our commitment to this transaction, Kraft Heinz has pledged an ongoing investment of $3m to $5m to improve and maintain the Campbell facility.”
The Upstate Niagara Cooperative is owned by dairy farmers of Western New York whose products are retailed and marketed under the Upstate Farms, Bison, Intense Milk, and Valley Farms brands along with their partners’ brands.
The company has committed to invest $10m in new machinery and equipment while retaining as many existing workers as possible.
Following the merger of Kraft and the H. J. Heinz Company, an internal review conducted in 2015 put Kraft facilities at Avon, Walton, Lowville and Campbell in line for closure.
The closure would have resulted in layoffs for nearly 1,000 employees in multiple locations in upstate New York.
In order to prevent the closures, an agreement was reached under which Kraft-Heinz continued operating the Avon, Walton and Lowville plants while investing tens of millions of dollars into modernising operations.
In addition, the planned closure of the Campbell plant was deferred for one to two years to identify a new operator.