The board of directors of St Albans Cooperative Creamery (SACC) has voted unanimously to recommend to its membership a merger with Dairy Farmers of America (DFA).
Vermont-based SACC said the merger proposal reflects a desire to position SACC members “for a secure, long-term future amid rapidly changing market dynamics”.
The proposed merger requires approval by SACC’s members, who will be asked to vote during a special meeting in late July.
DFA said the merger provides its members with established customer relationships, investments in critical hauling and manufacturing assets in the northeast of the US and increased milk marketing activities in the region. SACC has been a member cooperative of DFA since 2003.
“DFA and St Albans have always had closely aligned philosophies and values, with both cooperatives focused on providing value to members and committed to preserving the northeast tradition of family dairy farming for years to come,” said Brad Keating, senior vice president and chief operating officer of DFA’s northeast area.
Harold J Howrigan, chairman of the SACC board of directors, said: “Our board has been working nearly two years to strategically plan for the future of our members.
“With increasing shifts in customer needs, an imbalance in supply and demand and a volatile milk price cycle, it is clear change is needed for our cooperative; however, with change comes great opportunity.
“DFA offers increased value to our members with the ability to make continued investments in operations, a clear vision for the future and the depth of leadership to carry out that vision.”
Leon Berthiaume, SACC chief executive officer, added: “I have seen the dairy industry evolve and the continued need for dairy farmers to work together. DFA has been a strategic partner and I am very enthusiastic about what they will bring to our members, community and state.”
Last year, DFA secured a deal to acquire Agropur’s facility in Saint Paul, Minnesota, to expand its extended shelf-life capabilities and introduce aseptic processing into its portfolio.