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If all goes to plan, Batavia will be the new home of a yogurt company by next year.

The Genesee County Economic Development Center announced today that South American company Alpina Foods has agreed to build a 28,000 sq. ft. yogurt factory in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in the Town of Batavia.

The investment will be $15-million, and Alpina Foods expects to create 50 jobs at the new factory.

GCEDC President Steve Hyde says the process began 9 months ago – he says it was ultimately the shovel-ready Agri-Business park that attracted Alpina.

"Shortly after we just get it ready - boom, we land a company," says Hyde. "It kind of proves that thesis that you've got to have these shovel-ready sites to cluster industries, or companies won't even come.

"They want to be ready to build and go."

Alpina Foods is an international business with commercial representation in 12 countries. According to Hyde, Alpina has 70% of the market share in the South American dairy food industry.

Alpina CEO Julian Jaramillo says the company has been planning an American expansion for quite some time. Batavia was chosen, according to a release from Jaramillo, "for its skilled workforce, proximity to milk supply...and the long standing tradition of dairy and agriculture within Western New York.”

Tax incentives didn't hurt, either. Alpina will receive incentive packages from six different factions, including the GCEDC and the Town of Batavia, to build their factory here. Assistance in sealing the deal also came from the Governor's office, and the IDA's for Rochester and Buffalo.

Hyde says Alpina Foods already has some lofty projections for their future in Batavia.

"They will create 50 really nice-paying jobs...their goal is, within three-to-five years, potentially doubling that," says Hyde. "That's why they bought a ten-acre parcel: so that they've got some real footprint for future growth."

Construction is tentatively set to begin in August. Hyde expects it will take nine to ten months to complete the project. The roadway at the park must be extended to reach Alpina's parcel of land. Hyde says there are other improvements to the park that the deal is contingent upon.

The Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park is located on Route 5 in Batavia near the county fairgrounds.


ORIGINAL REPORT (9:40am)
Alpina Foods, a Bogota, Columbia company says it plans to build a 28,000 sq.ft. food manufacturing facility in Batavia.
The specialty yogurt maker says the local facility would initially create 50 jobs.
The company issued a statement saying that construction would begin in August in the Agri-business Park off of Route 5 near the county fairgrounds.
Steve Hyde, President of the Genesee County Economic Development Center confirmed this morning that Alpina plans to locate here. Hyde said eventually the company may double the size of the facility here as well as double the number of employees.
Hyde said construction could be completed within 9 to 10 months, "depending on our weather."
Hyde credited the GCEDC "regional partners" with helping to secure the Alpina deal.

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