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Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) reported today sales of $1.7 billion and earnings of $9.3 million in 2012. The milk marketing cooperative is owned by 2,900 Upper Midwest dairy farmers. AMPI dairy farmer-owners shared $10.5 million in equity payments.
AMPI’s core products were the cooperative’s top performers in 2012. Cheese production, which represents 57% of total sales, grew by more than 11 million pounds as compared to one year earlier. Butter production continued to grow steadily, increasing 5 million pounds. Consumer-packaged cheese and butter represented nearly half of the cooperative’s sales. Orders from foodservice customers represent 70% of total consumer-packaged sales.
“Our cheese-packaging plant in Portage, Wis., and the New Ulm, Minn., butter plant were major contributors to the cooperative’s bottom line. In the last five years, our consumer-packaged cheese and butter sales have grown exponentially,” said AMPI President and CEO Ed Welch, who indicated orders from food service customers fueled much of the growth.
Strengthening the cooperative’s manufacturing portfolio, with a renewed focus on cheese, butter and powdered dairy products, led to the sale of two businesses in 2012.
“Selling the Cass-Clay plant and brand in Fargo, N.D., and our cheese sauce and pudding business in Dawson, Minn., was a bold step,” said Chairman of the Board Steve Schlangen. “However, these two businesses accounted for only 5% of AMPI’s total annual revenue.”
Members operate dairy farms located throughout the Upper Midwest states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. They own 11 manufacturing plants and market a full line of consumer-packaged dairy products.