Company moves on promise to buy massive yogurt facility in Batavia

BATAVIA, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Dairy Farmers of America have acted on a promise issued months ago, paying out $300,000 to Batavia as it begins to assume responsibility for the Müller Quaker Dairy LLC plant.

The 360,000 square-foot facility was a joint venture between Quaker Oats and the German Theo Müller Group, operating at the peak of the Greek yogurt boom. But sales faltered for the group, which reportedly failed to make a name for itself, and it shuttered the facility.

It left 170 workers without a source of income, but the Dairy Farmers of America may be able to put them back to work.

“We are extremely pleased that Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) has agreed to purchase the manufacturing facility in the Genesee Agri-Business Park,” Paul Battaglia said. “I think it shows that DFA is a company with a great deal of integrity as well as a commitment to our community.”

Officials in Batavia say the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) agreed to transfer a PILOT agreement to DFA, prompting the DFA to make its first payment of $300,000 to the Town of Batavia as it begins to pay for waste water and sewage at the plant’s location.

“We expect many, if not all of the jobs lost from the plant’s closure last month to be restored, but that is going to take some time as DFA prepares its plans,” Seve Hyde, the president and CEO of the GCEDC, said. “We remain committed to assisting the DFA in this transition to ensure the plant will continue operations as one of the region’s largest agricultural food production facilities, as well as serve as a major economic driver in the region.”

Officials say they expect the DFA to present its plans to reopen the facility within the next few months.

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