BATAVIA, NY April 8, 2011 Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) today announced that Alpina, one of the most recognized dairy companies in the world and a leading dairy producing company in Columbia and South America, has decided to open its first specialty yogurt manufacturing plant in the United States.
Established by two Swiss Entrepreneurs in 1945, Alpina runs nine industrial facilities across Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador, and has commercial presence in more than 12 countries. Alpina plans to create 50 jobs at the new dairy manufacturing plant that will be constructed in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in Batavia, NY.
Alpina CEO Julian Jaramillo has been planning to expand physical operations into the United States for many years, due to growing demands for Alpina's yogurts, desserts and beverages. After reviewing several locations, Alpina decided to build and equip a 28,000 square foot manufacturing facility in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.
"We chose the park because of the skilled workforce, proximity to milk supply, ability to reach our target markets, and the long standing tradition of dairy and agriculture within Western New York," said Jaramillo. "It is an optimal location for our first United States specialty yogurt manufacturing facility."
"We've been waiting for exactly the right moment to make a major push into the U.S. market, and today we found the right location to achieve our strategic goals," said Alpina Foods LLC Managing Director Carlos Ramirez Zavarce.
For Mr. Ramirez, the focus is on creating partnerships in Western New York with suppliers, distributors and retailers.
"Alpina will be operating with local dairy farmers, milk cooperatives and vendors along the value chain to enhance our operations," said Ramirez. "We are very interested in working with local retailers such as Wegmans, Tops and other supermarket chains to introduce ReStart."
ReStart is Alpina's new all-natural, zero percent fat yogurt, which offers premium chef-created fruit marmalades and a low-fat mix-in granola, and is designed to be deliciously nutritious and convenient for on-the-go lifestyles. ReStart is high in protein, rich in calcium and a good source of fiber.
Governor Andrew Cuomo and Lt. Governor Robert Duffy played an instrumental role in reassuring Alpina's Board of Directors to locate in New York State. Alpina will be eligible for incentives from the following New York State agencies: Empire State Development Corporation, which will be providing Excelsior Jobs Program benefits; Office of Community Renewal and the Department of Labor. In addition, National Grid and National Fuel have committed to helping fund infrastructure extensions to the new facility. The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) and the Town of Batavia will also provide local incentives.
"This is an exciting project and it is gratifying to see foreign manufacturers investing in New York State, especially in the dairy arena, which is the single largest segment of the State's agriculture industry," said Empire State Development President & CEO Kenneth Adams. "The company explored several states but ultimately chose New York because of our reliable milk supply and willingness to support this critical market. I want to especially thank Lt. Governor Duffy for his assistance in recruiting Alpina to Genesee County."
New York State Homes & Community Renewal Commissioner/CEO Brian Lawlor said: "We are excited to be able to help Alpina locate their operations in Western NY and we applaud them for their investment. Our Community Development Block Grant program will provide $750,000 for this important project that will help create jobs and revitalize the local economy."
GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde said: "a foreign direct investment, such as Alpina's investment into a new specialty yogurt manufacturing facility, is an enormous win for Western New York and the entire State. I have been impressed with Alpina's products, quality control and socially responsible business practices. We welcome them into our community and are confident that they will be prosperous here in New York."
Jaramillo specified that the GCEDC "assisted Alpina in every step of the site selection process, provided quick and efficient responses to our requests and was able to bring together the necessary partners to streamline the entire procedure."
Greater Rochester Enterprise President and CEO Mark S. Peterson said: "There are significant food processing assets available throughout Western New York, including our extensive milk supply and abundance of fresh water. These agricultural assets, coupled with proximity to major metropolitan areas, will certainly accelerate Alpina Foods' penetration of the U.S. market."
BNE President & CEO Thomas Kucharski said: "We are very pleased to have been able to introduce Alpina to the Genesee county site and assist the company in locating here in Upstate New York. While our region is rich in agricultural assets, it was the vision showed by our colleagues at the GCEDC to invest in and develop the Agri-Business Park that enabled Alpina to invest and create jobs in Batavia."
Cornell University's expertise in dairy processing and food science, as well as its food science experts' close collaboration with the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC), also impressed Alpina.
Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Dean Kathryn Boor, PhD, said: "The dairy industry is a major player in the vitality of rural New York State, helping to preserve our beautiful open landscapes and protect our environment. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University enthusiastically partnered with GCEDC to encourage Alpina to locate in New York. We look forward to working with them to establish a successful dairy processing operation in western New York. Our faculty, staff and students have considerable depth in milk production and dairy processing expertise and aim to build lasting partnerships with this innovative company."
New York Farm Bureau President Dean Norton said: "NYFB is very pleased to welcome another dairy processing plant to Western New York. Clearly, our farm families' reputation for producing local, quality milk and our proximity to the metro markets gives us a natural advantage in the farming and food manufacturing business. NYFB applauds the strong support and partnership from our local farmers and cooperatives, the Genesee County Ag and Tech Park and the IDA, to the state of New York's team at the Empire State Development Corporation, Lieutenant Governor Duffy, and Governor Cuomo, all of whom worked together to help pull together the package that made it possible for Alpina to locate in New York."
About Alpina and Alpina Foods
Established in 1945 by two Swiss Entrepreneurs, Alpina is one of the most recognized dairy companies in Colombia and South America. With annual revenues close to $740MM, Alpina runs 9 industrial facilities across Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador, and has commercial presence in over 12 countries. Alpina's workforce consists of more than 6100 employees and involves many partners and distributors. With 136 references in 5 different consumer goods category, Alpina has been recognized as the number one quality brand in its markets. A consumer-centric and environmentally friendly company, Alpina is one of the most loved brands in the dairy industry.
Alpina Foods is headquartered in Miami, FL, a strategic location between Bogota and Batavia to lead market penetration in the US. Currently, it sells 32 products in four different categories: Dairy, Desserts, Baby Food and Cheeses; and distributes its portfolio in the Northeast and Florida. Alpina Foods has an insurgent DNA that is expected to innovate and revolutionize the US yogurt market.