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French yogurt company to build plant in Batavia and create up to 135 jobs

Aerial view of dairy farming site in Batavia
Photo provided
NY governor's office
An aerial view of a proposed dairy farm site in Batavia.

A family-owned French yogurt and desserts company will establish its U.S. production operations in Genesee County.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday that the company, La Fermiere, will be putting a facility in the Agri-Business Park in Batavia, with plans to create up to 135 jobs.

The total project cost is nearly $26 million, and Empire State Development will help with up to $1.35 million in tax credits in exchange for job creation commitments.

Other regional agencies are helping as well including Genesee County, Greater Rochester Enterprise and Invest Buffalo Niagara.

Matt Hurlbutt is President and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise. He said this deal is a sign of the strength of dairy production in this part of the state.

“Also the strength of food and beverage assets…connectivity at Cornell, and our dairy farmers, but also a shovel-ready site with a foreign direct investment,” said Hurlbutt. “So it’s significant, building a new facility as well as hiring 135 people.”’

Steve Hyde is President and CEO for the Genesee County Economic Development Center. He said that Agri-Business Park in Batavia already has a substantial dairy production facility there.

“Four big dairy processors and a support company, so five companies in total are kind of in the scope of the Agri-Business Park,” said Hyde. “We have north of 900 people working there, over 1.1 million square feet of dairy processing space.”

La Fermiere President and CEO Jean-Jacques Tarpinian said that the Batavia site meets his company’s “requirements for success,” including quality milk, a large cream supply, a logistics hub and work force availability.

Tarpinian said that being close to local farmers was also key for his company, since they will use up to 6-million gallons of milk every year.

La Fermiere expects to be operating at the Batavia location by November of 2023.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.