Walmart announced plans to build a 250,000-sq.-ft. milk processing plant, one of the largest in the industry, in Fort Wayne, IN which will create more than 200 jobs by the end of 2017.
Scheduled to begin construction this summer, Walmart says the 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, Michigan, Ohio and Northern Kentucky.
“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,” says Tony Airoso, senior vice president of sourcing strategy for Walmart US. “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.”
The news comes on the heels of Indiana’s 2015 dairy strategy, commissioned by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), to grow the state’s industry by increasing the volume of dairy processing and creating market opportunities for expanded dairy production. According to Walmart, with more than 1,200 Hoosier dairies, Indiana produced more than four billion pounds of milk last year–348 million pounds in December alone–but approximately four million pounds are exported every day.