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October 29, 2019

Upstate Niagara Cooperative buys Byrne Dairy’s fluid-milk operations

Upstate Niagara Cooperative, a US-based dairy firm, has acquired the fresh milk operations of a local peer.

By Dean Best

Upstate Niagara Cooperative, a US-based dairy firm, has acquired the fresh milk operations of Byrne Dairy, along with a fluid milk plant in Syracuse, New York. 

The deal, struck for an undisclosed sum, includes “several” distribution centres across New York state and is expected to close within forty days, Upstate Niagara said in a statement. Operations will be managed by existing employees and the facility will continue to provide all Byrne Dairy’s existing customers.   However, the agreement is only for fluid milk and does not include Byrne Dairy’s extended shelf-life milk, ice cream, its convenience stores and cultured plants, a spokesperson told just-food.   

As part of the deal, Buffalo, New York-based Upstate Niagara has signed a long-term licensing agreement for the continued use of the Byrne Dairy brand on fresh fluid dairy products, which join the co-op’s own branded line-up of Upstate Farms, Intense Milk, Milk for Life, Bison, and Valley Farms. 

The Byrne Dairy facility will be the ninth manufacturing plant for Upstate Niagara, and its fourth fluid milk plant.

Representing 310 family-owned farms, Upstate Niagara was founded in 1965 and produces milk, flavoured milk beverages, yogurt, dips, sour cream, cheese, and ice cream mix products. It offers a direct-store-delivery service and also supplies foodservice outlets.

The co-op holds majority ownership of O-AT-KA Milk Products based in Batavia, New York, and which supplies condensed milk, milk powders, butter and value-added shelf-stable dairy-based beverages.

Lawrence Webster, the chief executive of Upstate Niagara, said: “This acquisition is a strategic investment by our member-owners toward continued and long-term growth for our cooperative and will strengthen our ability to continue to provide award-winning products and exceptional customer service, while expanding our reach into adjoining markets.

“We are excited and eager to embark on this new chapter of our cooperative’s journey and are committed to completing the transition as seamlessly as possible for the employees and customers impacted.”

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