"Dairy Plants USA" is the name of a new database created by Dairy Foods. You can link to it from our home page, dairyfoods.com/dairyplantsusa.

This is a major new online initiative from Dairy Foods. The Dairy Plants USA database contains more than 2,200 plants producing Grade A products, including milk, cream, egg nog, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, liquid and condensed whey, and lactose. It includes plants manufacturing cheese and ice cream products. And it includes processors of sheep's and goat's milk.

Here are four examples of searches users might make on Dairy Plants USA:

  • Your company wants to have a Greek yogurt brand, but you do not have the skill set to manufacture cultured dairy products. And, in order to be near your distributors, you need a processor in the Northeast. You search for all the yogurt plants in New York state.
  • Your company wants to enter into the long-shelf-life dairy beverage market. You need a partner who can process and package milk into aseptic containers.
  • You are a developer of high-protein beverages and you need to find sources of whey protein concentrate.
  • You want to find the locations of a specific dairy processor's plants.

Multiple filters allow you to refine your search. All of the results appear on a map.

We built the database from a variety of government and private sources, including the official U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Interstate Milk Shippers list and the United States Department of Agriculture's list of plants approved for USDA Grading Service.  Plants on the latter list are inspected at least twice yearly by the USDA, and plant approval is determined by unannounced inspections covering more than 100 items, including milk supply, plant facilities, condition of equipment, sanitary practices and processing procedures.

Visitors to the Dairy Plants USA site include anyone in the food processing industry in general and the dairy industry in particular. Here are six potential types of visitors and the reason for visiting:

  1. A food processor. To search for makers of ingredients (such as whey, lactose or cheese) to use in their formulations.
  2. A dairy processor. To search for potential co-packing partners.
  3. An ingredient supplier. To search for prospects for their products (such as cheese cultures, ice cream flavorings, etc).
  4. An equipment supplier. To search for prospects for homogenizers, separators and other processing equipment.
  5. A job seeker. To look for dairy plants by company name, location or products made.
  6. Food buyers. To look for dairy plants approved by the USDA Grading Service.

I encourage you to log on and check your company's listings. You can revise and update the products you make.

If your plant is not listed, you can add your facility to the database. There is no cost to be included. Dairy processing is a competitive business, so a listing in Dairy Plants USA raises the profile of your company and helps it to be discovered in online searches.

Being listed has many benefits, including visibility to current and potential business partners. You can also update your listing and enhance them with logos, product photography and spec sheets.

Dairy Foods is supporting this new initiative through social media, advertising and collaboration with other food and beverage magazines published by BNP Media. I welcome your comments and suggestions about Dairy Plants USA.