Harris Teeter, a Matthews, N.C.-based wholly owned subsidiary of The Kroger Co., said it is selling its Hunter Farms dairy processing plant to Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association Inc., Reston, Va. The sale is expected to close Aug. 30, 2021.
Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative is a community of more than 900 dairy farm families in 13 states that is “passionate about cultivating dairy goodness and bottling fresh Maola brand milk and dairy products.” Founded in 1920, the cooperative’s farmers produce 3 billion pounds of milk a year for consumers and manufacturers worldwide. The cooperative also owns processing facilities in Newport News, Va.; Strasburg, Va.; Laurel, Md.; and Landover, Md., the companies said.
“Hunter Farms is a unique part of the Harris Teeter business as it is not only Harris Teeter’s sole dairy resource and a very recognizable and beloved brand in our stores,” said Danna Robinson, communication manager for Harris Teeter, “but it also supplies dairy products to other major retail and restaurant chains across the southeastern United States. Hunter Farms’ successful and recognizable ice cream and beverage brands will continue to be featured on Harris Teeter’s shelves, and our valued associates will be retained and offered comparable positions with the new owner.”
With nearly 160 full-time associates in its High Point, N.C. facility, the team at Hunter Farms produces, in addition to milk, a variety of frozen dairy treats, juices, cultured products and ice creams, the companies noted.
“Harris Teeter would like to thank our skilled and dedicated associates for building a successful business so many organizations depend on and for creating a beloved brand as well as products our shoppers crave,” said Robinson. “We believe Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association Inc. will continue the legacy of the Hunter Farms business — investing in the High Point community and providing continued employment for our dedicated and valued associates.”
Jay Bryant, CEO, Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Inc., said the purchase is a “long-term investment and growth opportunity” for the cooperative.
“We are excited to strengthen our value-added business and expand our cooperative’s processing footprint in the southeast,” he said. “With our five processing plants working in cooperation, we are establishing ourselves as the premier sustainable choice for dairy on the east coast.”