Williamette Valley Cheese Company is being sold to Pacific Foods Founder Chuck Eggert. Eggert sold Pacific Foods last year to Campbell’s Soup Company for $700 million. The price he paid for Williamette Valley Cheese has not been reported.
According to local news source Statesman Journal, the dairy provider made headlines late 2017 when the Oregon Department of Agriculture shut down the creamery’s dairy, Volbeda Farms, for letting manure flow into a nearby river.
The Statesman also reported that over the past nine years, the company has been cited over 200 times for food safety violations, which included cleanliness issues such as algae growth on the floors and walls, manure buildup, and insects in the cheese aging rooms. In addition to these violations, Owner Rod Volbeda purported that Williamette Valley Cheese was “farmstead cheese”—a distinction the American Cheese Society only allows if the cheese is made from milk of the farmer’s own herd. However, Volbeda had been purchasing milk from the Darigold cooperative.
In January 2018, Volbeda sold the dairy to Turley Farms, who in turn leased it to Harlan Miersma, another dairy operator. Neither Chuck Eggert or Rod Volbeda responded to interview requests from the Statesman.
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