Capacity to be expanded from 10 million to 25 million gallons annually over a two-year period.

Krissa Welshans, Livestock Editor

March 20, 2024

3 Min Read
Pennsylvania Governor's Office

Maola Local Dairies, owned by Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association (MDVA), announced it has purchased a dairy processing plant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The plant, previously owned by HP Hood, will generate new opportunities to bring sustainable milk products into Pennsylvania. The announcement came during a press conference with Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro highlighting investment in the state’s economy and workforce.

“With 80% of our family-owned farms existing in Pennsylvania, it just made sense that we would seek an opportunity to process our milk in the state as well,” MDVA Chief Executive Officer Jay Bryant said. “We are thrilled to add this Philadelphia-based plant to our portfolio as it provides us with new opportunities to diversify our products and reach more consumers with Maola Milk – the local, sustainable choice for milk on the east coast.”

Maola Philadelphia is an ultra-pasteurized plant focused on quality, customer service, and sustainability together with our customers, employees, and family-owned farms. The plant produces regular and flavored milks, creams of various fat levels, half & half, eggnog, and ice cream mixes. The plant, which has more than 170 employees, offers packaging in gable top pint, quart, and half gallon containers, portion control cups, and 2.5-gallon bags. The plant adds to the existing processing capacity of the cooperative in High Point, N.C., Landover, Md., Laurel, Md., Newport News, Va., and Strasburg, Va.

“We are dedicated to the existing team at Maola Philadelphia as we work to grow capacity at the plant while we produce high-quality dairy products with the customer service our valued customers expect and deserve,” Bryant added.

MDVA Milk plans to invest additional monies into the plant to increase the production capacity from 10 million to 25 million gallons annually over a two-year period.

MDVA received a $10 million funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for its expansion that includes a $7.25 million Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) loan, $2.5 million in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) funding, and a $300,000 workforce development grant to train workers.

“This is an exciting day for Pennsylvania ag – not just for the 720 Pennsylvania dairy farmers who are members of your co-op, but for all 5,000 dairy farmers in our Commonwealth who have been waiting for more processing capacity to come online,” said Gov. Shapiro. “The Commonwealth’s economic success is dependent on our rural communities and our farmlands – and that’s why our new Economic Development Strategy and my budget put agriculture and our dairy industry front and center. By focusing on agriculture as a key pillar of opportunity and by investing more in economic development, we will continue Pennsylvania’s legacy as a national leader in agriculture innovation, attract new businesses to our Commonwealth, and support our farmers.”

Kevin Satterwhite, a dairy farmer and president of MDVA’s Board of Directors welcomed the expansion of MDVA’s processing footprint.

“It’s an honor to lead a cooperative that seeks growth opportunities like this expansion into ultra-pasteurized processing,” said Satterwhite. “Our purchase of Maola Philadelphia is the crown jewel in our pivot away from a raw milk marketing cooperative to a brick-and-mortar dairy company with a respected growing brand.”

Founded in 1930, MDVA is a farmer-owned dairy cooperative that consists of over 900 family-owned dairy farms. Currently, 80% of its member owners are located in Pennsylvania. MDVA collects and markets its member farms’ milk to outside processors or for use at its own processing plants.

About the Author(s)

Krissa Welshans

Livestock Editor

Krissa Welshans grew up on a crop farm and cow-calf operation in Marlette, Michigan. Welshans earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University and master’s degree in public policy from New England College. She and her husband Brock run a show cattle operation in Henrietta, Texas, where they reside with their son, Wynn.

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