Governor Hochul Announces French Company La Fermière to Construct New $25 Million Production Facility in Genesee County
New York (STL.News) Governor Kathy Hochul announced that La Fermière, a family-owned French yogurt and desserts company, will establish its U.S. production operations in New York State. The company has committed to constructing a 45,000 square-foot yogurt and dairy desserts production facility at Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in Batavia, with plans for future, additional expansion. As a result, La Fermière, expects to create up to 135 New Jobs in the region. Additionally, the company will utilize millions of pounds of milk provided by New York dairy farmers to create its globally renowned dairy products. Agribusiness is a core pillar of the locally designed Finger Lakes Forward plan, a comprehensive plan that is working to revitalize and grow the regional economy.
“We’re proud to welcome La Fermière to Genesee County, bringing jobs and opportunity to the Finger Lakes region,” Governor Hochul said. “This investment shows that our bold economic recovery plan for the Finger Lakes is working, attracting new businesses and helping communities across the region grow and thrive.”
Empire State Development is assisting this project with up to $1.35 million? in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Tax Credits in exchange for job creation commitments. Genesee County, Greater Rochester Enterprise, and Invest Buffalo Niagara are providing support for the company’s growth in New York State. The total project cost has been placed at $25.8 million dollars. The company expects to be operational at the site by November of 2023.
Located in the Town of Batavia, Genesee County, the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park was developed as the largest food and beverage greenfield in the northeastern U.S. to connect the region’s agricultural production, talent and transportation networks. The 250-acre Ag Park and surrounding area has become the Dairy Processing Hub of the Northeast, with more than 1 million square-feet of operations and approximately 1,000 workers employed across multiple production and supply chain companies.
Founded in Marseille, France in 1952, the company was purchased by Groupe Tarpinian in 2002. In the mid to late 2010’s, La Fermière began working with a New York state based co-packer in an effort to bring its sustainably packaged French yogurt to the U.S. market. The company had considered site locations throughout the country for its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility but selected New York, thanks to the focused support from both the State and its regional economic development partners.
La Fermière President and CEO Jean-Jacques Tarpinian, said, “We are very excited to launch this project of building our very first yogurt and dessert production facility in Batavia, New York. The great support of the state and GCEDC team really helped us in our decision. The Batavia site meets our main requirements for success: quality milk and large cream supply, logistics hub and work force availability. Being close to local farmers, at the heart of milk production, was key for us, as we will use up to 6 million gallons of milk every year. Our five-year presence in the U.S. market expanded beyond our expectations. This state-of-the art facility will help us achieve our very ambitious goal in the U.S. market, which offers large opportunities by manufacturing the best all natural yogurts and desserts, with innovative recipes and process.”
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Hope Knight said, “La Fermière’s new plant in Batavia will boost farmers, add great-paying local jobs that will support the dairy industry’s continued growth and success, and further strengthen the region’s agricultural base. The company’s decision to establish its production facility here is further proof that New York State is an agribusiness leader.”
Steven G. Hyde, President and Chief Executive Officer for Genesee County Economic Development Center said, “La Fermière’s decision to locate their U.S. operations in Genesee County demonstrates that investing in shovel-ready sites like the Genesee Valley Agribusiness Park draws great companies to New York. We are excited to work with La Fermière to see this project to success as we continue to grow our food and beverage-manufacturing workforce. Thanks to Governor Hochul’s leadership, businesses are finding the right sites and ready communities in New York for their growth.”
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “We are proud to welcome La Fermière to New York State as they expand their business in Genesee County, a major win for dairy in New York State. By choosing New York, La Fermière has highlighted the strength and diversity of our state’s dairy industry, which continues to attract new businesses and produce delicious, world-class dairy products for all to enjoy. Having La Fermière’s U.S. production facility located in New York will create new jobs and increase demand for New York dairy farmers’ milk, which is certainly a win-win for our dairy farmers and our communities. We look forward to partnering with La Fermière as they put down roots here and look forward to the continued success and expansion of the Genesee Valley Agribusiness Park.”
Senator Edward A. Rath III said, “Creating jobs in our community is critical. Our economy has struggled during the pandemic, creating new opportunities will help with revitalization. I commend La Fermière for bringing their production to Genesee County and I congratulate Batavia on this great opportunity.”
Assemblyman Stephen Hawley said, “The arrival of La Fermière into the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in Batavia is another sign that our region is truly a burgeoning agri-business hotspot within New York State. The Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park’s ability to enable manufacturers to make use of our high quality, local dairy has helped springboard our rural economy into the next generation, getting more of our farmer’s product into grocery stores nationwide and providing jobs to our highly skilled workforce. It’s been an incredible asset to the development of our rural economy, and its success is a testament to the quality of what our farmers are able to offer to companies seeking to produce specialty products at a massive scale.”
Genesee County Legislature Chair Shelley Stein said, “Thank you to Governor Hochul for guiding La Fermière to Genesee County and building another opportunity for great careers for our youth. La Fermière, and recent investments by O-AT-KA Milk Products, Dairy Farmers of America, HP Hood, Upstate Niagara Cooperative, and Yancey’s Fancy show that Genesee County is the ideal place for dairy processing growth. These investments have a tremendous positive impact for our farm families, highly skilled and dedicated farm workers, robust agricultural economy and welcoming communities.”
Town Supervisor Greg Post said, “The Town of Batavia is pleased to welcome another investment into our agri-business economy. La Fermiere’s high-quality products and operations are a great fit with our community’s hub of dairy processing, robust workforce training, and commitment to supporting business growth.”
Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair?s Bob Duffy, President and CEO, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, and Denise Battles, President SUNY Geneseo said, “The dairy industry is a major driver of the local economy. This is tremendous news for Genesee County and for the region as a whole. We want to thank La Fermière for choosing to make this significant investment at the thriving Ag-Park as this project will create solid employment opportunities and, at the same time, support the robust dairy farming industry that is available throughout the Finger Lakes region.”
Catharine Young, Executive Director of the New York State Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell AgriTech said, “La Fermière is a premier yogurt company, and we are thrilled that they are expanding jobs, economic growth and the dairy industry in Western New York. Now more than ever, our consumers need locally produced foods, and farmers need outlets for their milk to increase their profitability. New York continues to be the leading agriculture state in the Northeast, and Cornell University stands ready to share its vast expertise in economic development, food science, dairy production and workforce development to help the company and the dairy industry grow and thrive. We look forward to continuing to work with La Fermière as they increase their product lines and build their new cutting-edge plant in our state. Our hats are off to everyone who worked as a team to make this fantastic project a reality.”
Greater Rochester Enterprise President and CEO Matt Hurlbutt said, “La Fermiere’s expansion at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in Batavia places them in the heart of the New York State dairy shed, with access to a fully integrated supply chain to assist them with logistics. La Fermiere joins more than 250 food and beverage companies and suppliers in the Greater Rochester, NY region that leverage the community’s rich agricultural resources, world-class R&D resources, and workforce well trained in precision manufacturing, engineering, and packaging.”
Invest Buffalo Niagara President and CEO Tom Kucharski said, “We are excited to welcome La Fermière to Western New York. La Fermière joins the region’s booming food and dairy processing cluster, one of the strongest in the nation thanks to its strong workforce, affordability, proximity to major markets, supply chain access, and more. Its decision also validates our ability to attract international companies and act as a natural front door to the North American market.”
Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward
Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The regionally designed plan focuses on investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture? and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs.
About Empire State Development
Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the New York State Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand.