Newswire

Dallas-based Dean Foods Co. chairman and chief executive officer Gregg Engles saw his compensation drop nearly half in 2004, according to a proxy statement filed in April by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Engles reportedly received $4.4 million in 2004 compared to $8.2 million in 2003. The 2004 package for Engles, who engineered Dean into the nation’s largest dairy processor, included a stock award valued at $3.1 million but no annual bonus. In 2003, his compensation included stock valued at nearly $6 million and a $1.1 million bonus. The SEC says the bonus was not awarded because the company did not hit its earnings-per-share objective. For 2005, Dean’s board of directors bumped Engles’ base salary to $1.07 million, his first raise since 2002. In other company news, Dean has agreed to pay the former president of its WhiteWave Foods division more than $3 million for lost pay and canceled stock options. Steve Demos, who founded the Colorado-based company and later sued to keep Dean from taking it over, was slated to head the company’s expanding branded foods division. In March, Dean announced that Demos was leaving “to pursue other interests.”
Madison, Wis.-based Schoep’s Ice Cream, has opened a new $7 million, 23,000-square-foot freezer facility as part of its strategy, the company reports, to remain a regional favorite. The independently owned company has also expanded its product line with Kidz Korner, a line of ice creams that features such flavors as cotton candy; and Schoep’s new Badger Tracks ice cream.
This spring, Johnstown, N.Y., will be home to a new $27 million yogurt production and distribution facility built by Greek dairy company Fage Dairy Industry S.A. The company will be eligible for various tax credits, discounted utility rates and nearly $700,000 in state grants. The facility is expected to employ 60 people.
In April, U.S. dairy industry leaders joined with representatives of several agricultural organizations to voice support for the proposed Free Trade Agreement with Central America and the Dominican Republic, which Congress is expected to vote on later this year. The high-profile event in Washington featured Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns, along with Charles Beckendorf, chairman of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and Jerry Kozak, president and chief executive officer of NMPF.
Wallington, N.J.-based Farmland Dairies LLC, has emerged from bankruptcy following the collapse of scandal-ridden former parent Parmalat. The company reports it has reorganized around its fresh milk and dairy products business in the Northeast and national aseptic milk products business based in Grand Rapids, Mich. Its Wallington location is the largest HACCP-certified fluid milk plant in the United States.
Roberts Dairy Co. has announced that it will end milk processing at its 51-year-old Des Moines, Iowa, plant. The plant will be sold but the company will establish a distribution center in the Des Moines area. The changes will eliminate about half of the 115 jobs at the plant. Workers will be offered jobs at the company’s plants in Kansas City, Mo.; Iowa City, Iowa; or Omaha, Neb.
Fairmount Food Group LLC has acquired Mayville, Wis.-based DCI Cheese Co. This is the first such acquisition for the Dallas-based investment firm and its equity sponsor, GTCR Golder Rauner LLC.
The state of New Mexico has awarded Southwest Cheese, Clovis, N.M., a grant of more than $700,000 to help fund nearly 80 jobs at its cheese processing plant. The facility, scheduled to be completed in October, is expected to employ 220 people and produce more than 250 million pounds of cheese and 16.5 million pounds of value-added whey proteins annually. Southwest Cheese is a joint venture of Glanbia Foods Inc., Dairy Farmers of America, Select Milk Producers Inc. and other dairy cooperative members of the Greater Southwest Agency Inc.
The fast-growing U.S. organic milk industry has an enviable problem of having more demand than product, the Dallas Morning News reports. Demand began rising last summer and increased significantly in the winter. Some projected shortages of organic milk could appear again early next year as producers work hard to increase supplies.