Governor Kathy Hochul announced today that La Fermière, a family-owned French yogurt and dessert company, will establish its US manufacturing facilities in upstate New York. The company has committed to build a 45,000-square-foot yogurt and dairy dessert manufacturing facility at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in Batavia, with plans for future additional expansions. As a result, La Fermière expects to create up to 135 new jobs in the region. In addition, the company will use millions of pounds of milk donated by New York dairy farmers to create its world-renowned dairy products. Agribusiness is a mainstay of the locally designed Finger Lakes Forward Plan, a comprehensive plan aimed at revitalizing and growing the region’s economy.
“We are proud to welcome La Fermière to Genesee County and bring jobs and opportunity to the Finger Lakes region,” said Governor Hochul. “This investment demonstrates that our bold plan for Finger Lakes economic recovery is working, attracting new businesses and helping communities across the region to thrive and thrive.”
Founded in 1952 in Marseille, France, the company was bought by Groupe Tarpinian in 2002. In the mid to late 2010s, La Fermière began working with a New York state co-packer to bring its sustainably packaged French yogurt to the US market. The company had considered locations across the country for its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, but settled on New York, thanks to the targeted support from the state and its regional business development partners.
Jean-Jacques Tarpinian, President and CEO of La Fermière said: “We are very excited to embark on this project to build our first-ever yogurt and dessert production facility in Batavia, New York. The great support from the country and the GCEDC team helped us a lot in our decision. The Batavia site meets our key requirements for success: quality milk and large cream supply, logistics center and labor availability. Being close to local farmers at the heart of dairy production was critical to us as we will be consuming up to 6 million gallons of milk each year. Our five year presence in the US market has expanded beyond our expectations. This state-of-the-art facility will help us achieve our very ambitious target in the US market, which offers great opportunity by producing the best plain yoghurts and desserts using innovative recipes and processes.”
Acting Commissioner for Development and President-elect and CEO of Empire State Hope Knight said: “La Fermière’s new Batavia plant will empower farmers, create well-paying local jobs that support the continued growth and prosperity of the dairy industry, and further strengthen the region’s agricultural base. The company’s decision to locate its manufacturing facility here is further proof that New York State is a leader in agribusiness.”
Steven G. Hyde, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Genesee County Economic Development Center said: “La Fermière’s decision to locate its US operations in Genesee County demonstrates that investing in shovel-ready locations like Genesee Valley Agribusiness Park attracts great companies to New York. We are excited to be working with La Fermière to make this project a success as we continue to grow our workforce in food and beverage manufacturing. With Gov. Hochul’s leadership, New York companies are finding the right locations and preparing communities to thrive.”
State Commissioner of Agriculture 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 asset for New York State dairies. 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. La Fermière’s US manufacturing facility in New York will create new jobs and increase demand for milk from New York dairy farmers, which is certainly a win-win for our dairy farmers and our communities. We look forward to partnering with La Fermière as this is where they put down roots and look forward to the continued success and expansion of Genesee Valley Agribusiness Park.”
senator Edward A. Rath III said: “Creating jobs in our community is vital. Our economy has struggled during the pandemic, creating new opportunities will help revitalize it. I commend La Fermière for bringing their production to Genesee County and congratulate Batavia on this great opportunity.”
MP Stephen Hawley said: “The arrival of La Fermière at Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in Batavia is another sign that our region truly is a burgeoning agribusiness hotspot in New York State. The Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park’s ability to enable manufacturers to leverage our high-quality local dairy products has helped catapult our rural economy into the next generation, bringing more of our farmers’ produce into grocery stores nationwide and creating jobs for our create a highly skilled workforce. It has been an incredible win for the development of our rural economy and its success is a testament to the quality of what our farmers can offer to companies looking to produce specialty products at scale.”
Shelley Stein, Chair of the Genesee County Legislature, said: “Thank you to Governor Hochul for bringing La Fermière to Genesee County and creating another great career opportunity for our youth. La Fermière and recent investments from O-AT-KA Milk Products, Dairy Farmers of America, HP Hood, Upstate Niagara Cooperative and Yancey’s Fancy demonstrate that Genesee County is the ideal place for dairy processing growth. These investments are having a tremendous positive impact on our farming families, highly skilled and dedicated farm workers, a resilient agricultural economy, and hospitable communities.”
Town Warden Greg Post said: “The City of Batavia is pleased to welcome another investment in our agricultural economy. La Fermiere’s high quality products and operations are a great fit with its heart of dairy processing, robust staff training and commitment to supporting business growth in our community.”
Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair Bob Duffy, President and CEO, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, and Denise Battles, President SUNY Geneseo said: “The dairy industry is an important driver of the local economy. This is great news for Genesee County and for the region as a whole. We would like to thank La Fermière for choosing to make this significant investment in the thriving Ag Park, as this project will create solid employment opportunities while supporting the robust dairy industry that exists 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 leading yogurt company and we are excited that it is expanding jobs, economic growth and the dairy industry in western New York. Now more than ever, our consumers need locally produced food and farmers need outlets for their milk to increase profitability. New York remains the premier farming state in the Northeast, and Cornell University is ready to share its deep expertise in economic development, food science, dairy production, and human resource development to help the company and the dairy industry grow and thrive. We look forward to continuing to work with La Fermière as they expand their product lines and build their new state-of-the-art facility in our state. Kudos to everyone who worked as a team to make this fantastic project a reality.”
Matt Hurlbutt, President and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise said: “La Fermiere’s expansion at Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in Batavia puts them in the heart of New York State’s dairy industry, with access to a fully integrated supply chain to help them with logistics. La Fermiere joins more than 250 food and beverage companies and suppliers in the Greater Rochester, NY area that leverage the community’s rich agricultural resources, world-class R&D resources and workforce well-trained in precision manufacturing, engineering and packaging.”
Tom Kucharski, President and CEO of Invest Buffalo Niagara said: “We are delighted 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 country thanks to its strong workforce, affordability, proximity to key markets, supply chain access and more. His decision also validates our ability to attract international business and act as a natural gateway to the North American market.”
For more information about La Fermière, visit: https://www.lafermiere.us/.
For more information about the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, visit: http://www.gcedc.com/AgPark.
Speeding forward from Finger Lakes
Today’s announcement complements Finger Lakes Forward, the region’s comprehensive plan to generate robust economic growth and community development. The regionally designed plan focuses on investments in key industries such as photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Now, the Finger Lakes region is accelerating forward with a $500 million government investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. The state’s $500 million investment will spur private companies to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as presented, envisions up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available Here.
About Empire State Development
Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s premier economic development agency. ESD’s mission is to foster a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new jobs and economic opportunities, increase state and local government revenues, and achieve a stable and diversified local economy. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD seeks to encourage investment and growth in private enterprise to spur job creation and support affluent communities throughout upstate New York. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing New York State’s regional economic development councils and the marketing of I LOVE NY, the state’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, see www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.