Recently, Foremost Farms USA, one of Wisconsin’s largest cheese manufacturers, announced the sale of its Preston, Minnesota, manufacturing facility to Diversified Ingredients. The new entity will be called Preston Protein Products and will be a joint venture between Diversified Ingredients in Ballwin, Missouri, and Johnson Farms, Inc. in Lime Springs, Iowa.
“Manufacturing footprints continually evolve and change,” said Greg Schlafer, Foremost Farms President and CEO. “While it’s difficult to see employees leave the cooperative, an owner focused on building on Preston’s established capabilities offers the best opportunity for the plant and its workers.”
Built in 1924, the Preston plant offers milk separation, condensing, and drying services for organic dairy fluid and ingredient marketers. Foremost Farms primarily focuses its whey products in the infant formula markets. The final closing on the sale will take place on or before November 18, 2020.
“We invested in the plant three years ago, updating the dryer. It was the right decision at the time,” Schlafer continued. “Today, it gives the plant a base to build a future as a viable specialty drying operation with Diversified Ingredients. Diversified Ingredients is an employee-owned company with an excellent reputation. We look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.”
According to the press release, Diversified Ingredients provides quality products and services to the food ingredient, pet food, and feed industries.
“Foremost Farms and Johnson Farms have been valued partners of Diversified Ingredients for over 30 years,” said Matthew Collins, Diversified Ingredients Managing Partner. “We are excited about this new chapter of our relationship and look forward to expanding our services into the many specialty markets we service with the drying, separation, and blending capabilities that this facility offers. The Preston manufacturing facility has a long history of manufacturing quality dairy products. We look forward to continuing this tradition and working with the excellent team that has been established.”
The 20 employees who work at the Preston plant were informed of the company’s plans. It is the intent of Diversified Ingredients to transition all current Preston Foremost Farms employees to its organization.
Deli Market News will continue to report on all things dairy, deli, and specialty, so stay tuned.