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French yogurt, dessert maker bringing 135 jobs to upstate New York

A 70-year-old French yogurt and dessert maker has picked an upstate New York community to build a production facility that will create 135 jobs.

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office announced Wednesday that La Fermière will build a 45,000-square-foot plant in Batavia, located midway between Rochester and Buffalo.

The company plans to invest $25.8 million in the project, which is expected to start operations by November 2023. La Fermière will build its plant at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, a 250-acre greenfield development that New York touts as the “Dairy Processing Hub of the Northeast.”

Steven Hyde, president and CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center, said the park is helping draw strong businesses to the state. The park is already home to businesses utilizing more than 1 million square feet of space and employing about 1,000 workers.

“We are excited to work with La Fermière to see this project to success as we continue to grow our food and beverage-manufacturing workforce,” Hyde said. “Thanks to Governor Hochul’s leadership, businesses are finding the right sites and ready communities in New York for their growth.”

Hochul, in a statement, said that the plant will generate more business for New York’s dairy farmers. The company will need millions of pounds of milk to produce its yogurts and other dairy desserts at the Finger Lakes park.

For reference, a gallon of milk weighs 8.6 pounds.

“This investment shows that our bold economic recovery plan for the Finger Lakes is working, attracting new businesses and helping communities across the region grow and thrive,” the governor said.

La Fermière was founded in Marseille, France, in 1952. Several years ago, the company started working with a New York-based business to bring its French yogurt to American stores.

The company chose Batavia for its U.S. production, thanks partly to the support it will receive from Empire State Development, Genesee County and regional economic development partners Greater Rochester Enterprise and Invest Buffalo Niagara.

Empire State Development will provide up to $1.35 million in Excelsior Jobs Tax Credits provided La Fermière meets certain job development goals.

La Fermière President and CEO Jean-Jacques Tarpinian said the region will provide a hearty supply of milk and cream as well as the logistical infrastructure and available workforce it wanted for its production facility.

“Being close to local farmers, at the heart of milk production, was key for us, as we will use up to 6 million gallons of milk every year,” Tarpinian said in a statement. “Our five-year presence in the U.S. market expanded beyond our expectations. This state-of-the-art facility will help us achieve our very ambitious goal in the U.S. market, which offers large opportunities by manufacturing the best all natural yogurts and desserts, with innovative recipes and process.”

This article was originally posted on French yogurt, dessert maker bringing 135 jobs to upstate New York

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