Millburn, N.J. - MCT Dairies, a leading domestic dairy trader and distributor, opened its new manufacturing division on Nov. 15. MCT Manufacturing Inc. will be housed in a 12,000-sq.-ft. facility in Appleton, Wis.

The state-of-the-art processing plant is designed to run a variety of cheese conversion projects, from cut-and-wrap to cheese reclamation. It also will handle specialty custom projects and is fully equipped for dairy product recovery.

"We built MCT Manufacturing with the intention of complementing, not competing with, the products and services our customers already offer," says Ken Meyers, president of MCT Dairies. "We are an extension of other manufacturers' facilities. We want to serve as an adjunct to their operations and provide additional services that they might not already have."

Meyers notes that bringing these services in-house allows MCT to provide faster turnaround time and have complete quality control as demand for specialty items increases.

"Demand for further-processed items, like special pack sizes and customized cuts, continues to rise," Meyers adds. "This new facility will enable us to deliver cheese in forms and packages that meet the needs of our customers."

To ensure the highest product quality and safety, MCT worked with Brain Wave Technologies, Madison, Wis., to implement a full range of GMP and HACCP programs in the plant. Two dairy-industry veterans, plant manager Mike Mason and plant supervisor David Wangerin, will run the facility.

The decision to locate the processing plant in eastern Wisconsin was critical for the New-Jersey-based company, says Meyers.

"The Upper Midwest is centralized for people who make process cheese," he says. "This region is still 'America's Dairyland.' There's a remarkable culture of dairy farming, cheese manufacturing, and production and marketing infrastructure. We're encouraged by the tremendous level of investment taking place at all levels of the supply chain, and hope MCT Manufacturing can be a part of the long and great tradition of the dairy industry here in Wisconsin."