Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas as well as federal, state and local officials joined Commonwealth Dairy officials at a groundbreaking ceremony last month at the site of the company’s Brattleboro, Vt., plant.
“This is a key milestone for our vision of a world-class yogurt facility here in Vermont,” said Dieter Dobousek, Commonwealth Dairy’s vice president and chief technical officer. “We are looking forward to being an important part of the Brattleboro and Vermont family, and you have made us feel very welcome.”
The company is planning a $32 million, state-of-the-art, LEED compliant, Class II dairy processing facility that includes alternative energy sources and will be designed to accept milk from the open market as well as segregated milk streams, such as organic and local.
The 39,000-square-foot production facility will be built on 5.9 acres of land in the Delta Campus. The facility is expected to create at least 24 jobs within 3 years.
Commonwealth is partnering with Ehrmann AG, a German yogurt maker with more than $1 billion dollars in sales in 40 European countries.
“We are committed to making Commonwealth an industry leader,” said Christian Ehrmann, chairman of the board of Ehrmann AG. “Like the state of Vermont, our company has built its reputation on quality, and we are looking forward to continuing that legacy here.”
Last year, the Vermont Economic Progress Council approved $1.2 million in Vermont Employment Growth Incentives for the company, and the Vermont Community Development Program approved a $639,920 community development block grant to the town of Brattleboro to loan to Commonwealth for fit-up costs.
In addition, the Vermont Economic Development Authority approved a $1.3 million loan to Commonwealth last year as part of a $26.3 million financing package utilizing the U.S. Treasury Department’s New Market Tax Credits to provide a portion of the equity funding in addition to participation by Wainwright Bank and U.S. Bankcorp.
The company will make yogurt for other companies under private label and
co-pack arrangements; as well as produce and sell its own all-natural, rBST-free Mountainberry branded product. Marketing for the brand is focused on the local, “Made in Vermont” nature of the product.