Pennsylvania Farms Scores Find New Home for Their Milk

Last month, the Pennsylvania dairy industry received a boost in its ongoing efforts to achieve market stability and growth. One of the larger farmer-owned cooperatives in the country launched its first dairy processing operations in the state.

The Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative recently acquired and began running an ultra-pasteurization plant in northeast Philadelphia on March 1. First of all, it saved the jobs of approximately 178 plant workers.

In the near future, this could also lead to more Pennsylvania farms being able to sell their milk to a larger market. Maryland and Virginia, also known as MDVA, have announced plans to increase the amount of milk they can process at the site by more than two times within two years.

What about people who are not farmers? This could help more farms in your neighborhood stay active in the long run. Here is the reason. Creating the type of milk you desire.

Pennsylvania dairy farmers have been hoping for this kind of expansion for a long time. The dairy industry has been struggling with low demand for milk and tough competition from various dairy substitutes.

Also Read: New EPA Rule Could Help Eliminate PFAS Contamination in Pennsylvania

Last year, Pennsylvania missed an opportunity to attract a big new company. Coca-Cola decided to open a new Fairlife plant in New York state instead.

MDVA believes that there is a new opportunity for its member farmers in Philadelphia. This is because the former HP Hood plant in the city uses a process called ultra-pasteurization. Ultra-pasteurization involves super-heating and fast-cooling the product, which results in a longer shelf life compared to traditional pasteurization.

The new process is perfect for making dairy products like whipping cream, half-and-half, fitness drinks, and recovery drinks. These are the types of products that dairies have seen an increase in demand for in recent years. By selling these products as Grade A or fluid milk, farmers can get the best prices.

“Ultra-pasteurized milk products are bringing the highest value or profit back to our farmer owners… “This is about fully realizing the maximum potential of what we can achieve with milk in the marketplace,” said Amanda Culp, a spokesperson for the cooperative.

So far, MDVA has been producing its ultra-pasteurized product at co-packing facilities. These facilities are separate plants that have a contract with MDVA to make the product for the cooperative’s Maola retail label.

According to executive vice president Lindsay Reames, the cooperative now has its own ultra-pasteurized production lines. This will give them more freedom to increase production and take advantage of the full growth potential in those products.

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