News Wires

Eattle-based Darigold has retired the WestFarm Foods name that it has been doing business under for the past seven years in favor of its corporate name, Darigold Inc. The company is the marketing and processing subsidiary of the Northwest Dairy Association, which is owned by more than 600 dairy producers throughout the northwestern United States. The company markets products under the historic Darigold brand.
Glendale, Calif.-based Nestlé USA Inc. will build a $359 million factory and distribution center in Anderson, Ind. The company expects the 880,000-square-foot facility to employ about 300 workers and be operating by spring 2008, after construction begins later this year. The plant will make Nestle’s Nesquik and Coffee-Mate products.
CROPP Cooperative/Organic Valley Family of Farms has broken ground on a new 80,000-square-foot distribution center in Cashton, Wis. The facility, scheduled to open in spring or summer of 2007, will handle fluid milk, meat, eggs, produce and various dairy products. The automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) will store a majority of Organic Valley’s products that require cooling or freezing. The 80-foot-tall ASRS will have the capacity to collectively store 12,000 loads of Organic Valley products. This facility is being constructed to gain environmental and operational efficiencies made possible by housing distribution under one roof, rather than Organic Valley’s current multiple locations.
Searcy, Ark.-based Yarnell Ice Cream Co. has assumed responsibility for the manufacture, distribution and promotion of all Angel Food ice cream products after acquiring the brand from Klinke Brothers Ice Cream Co., Memphis, Tenn., for an undisclosed amount. The deal will allow Klinke Brothers to focus on its Baskin-Robbins franchises. Acquisition of the popular Angel Food brand will allow Yarnell to expand its presence in Tennessee, Mississippi and southwestern Kentucky.
The American Beverage Association (ABA) and Washington, D.C.-based International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) have agreed to take an active role in each other’s trade shows. IDFA and Worldwide Food Expo are endorsing the ABA-sponsored InterBev 2006 this fall in Las Vegas, and ABA is endorsing IDFA’s Worldwide Food Expo 2007 in Chicago. As part of the alliance, both ABA and IDFA will promote each other’s events with their membership and stakeholders, and will also offer exclusive programming at each event geared toward beverage and dairy audiences.
The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), Washington, D.C., has launched a new program to recognize school professionals who are creatively encouraging students to drink more milk. The “Spotlight On” program will reward one contestant a month in the second-half of 2006 and a grand-prize winner at the end of the year. “The program focuses on the efforts of school professionals — such as foodservice directors or principals — to improve their students’ health through increased milk consumption,” says Julie Buric, senior director of promotions for the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA). “Many schools and milk processors are working together to implement changes, like initiating a vended milk program, introducing new flavors and packaging, having milk sampling days, or adding milk to the a la carte offerings.” For more information, visit www.milkdelivers.org.
Record rainfall, combined with dismally low milk prices and rising fuel prices, has Vermont’s dairy farming industry in a crisis, according to a New York Times report. Statewide, the situation for dairy farms — which make up 85 percent of Vermont’s agriculture — has gotten so tough the federal Department of Agriculture declared the entire state a disaster zone, making cheap emergency loans available to farmers. Gov. Jim Douglas convened an emergency dairy summit in July, announcing that the state would give farmers $8.6 million in cash assistance to augment insufficient federal help.