Walmart Chooses Georgia Site for Dairy Facility
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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced that Walmart Inc. will invest $350 million to open a new dairy facility along the Interstate 75 freight corridor to process milk for 750 regional stores and hire hundreds of employees, including truck drivers.
The goal for the new facility is to improve Walmart’s capacity to meet demand for high-quality milk while making its supply chain more resilient and demonstrating sourcing transparency.
“We’re excited that Walmart will soon tap into Georgia’s No. 1 industry and open new opportunities for farmers in the Lowndes County area,” Kemp stated recently. “Congratulations to all those on the local and state level whose hard work made this announcement possible. We look forward to many years of success as this project further strengthens our thriving agriculture industry.”
Walmart ranks No. 2 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest private carriers in North America.
We’ve got milk. Set to open in 2025, our new milk processing facility in Valdosta, Georgia will help us deliver even more high-quality milk to customers while creating nearly 400 new jobs in the community. Read more: https://t.co/3fcoTWqKeg pic.twitter.com/HxMScZqOlI — Walmart Inc. (@WalmartInc) October 11, 2023
The dairy facility will be in the town of Valdosta, 15 miles from the Florida border. I-75 is a key north-south freight corridor from the Midwest to the southern states that spans from Florida to Michigan.
With operations slated for late 2025, Walmart’s facility on Inner Perimeter Road will create fresh dairy products using ingredients from local farmers and provide high-quality milk throughout Georgia and neighboring states by serving more than 750 Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs in the region.
“We’re thrilled to open this new dairy facility in Valdosta, Ga., as we continue to make strides to increase surety of supply for our customers’ grocery essentials,” said Bruce Heckman, Walmart manufacturing vice president. “We’re looking forward to breaking ground on this exciting venture, and we’ll continue to work alongside local dairy farmers and associates as we move ahead. Their collaboration is critical to ensure we’re operating a facility that will process high-quality milk for our customers.”
Walmart officials plan to break ground on the site later this year. The facility will process and bottle a variety of milk products including gallon, half-gallon, whole, 2%, 1%, skim and 1% chocolate milk for Walmart’s Great Value and Sam’s Club’s Member’s Mark brands.
It also will create/retain about 400 jobs in such positions as truck driving, production, engineering, quality, food safety, maintenance and warehouse operations.
Walmart “will hire approximately 100 CDL drivers to distribute the finished goods,” Andrea Schruijer, executive director of Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority, told Transport Topics. “There were many factors that went into the decision for Walmart to locate their dairy facility in Valdosta-Lowndes County. Proximity to existing dairies in Georgia and north Florida were a key decision factor, as well as Valdosta’s location on I-75.”
The governor’s office noted that Georgia is a top milk-producing state in the Southeast, and milk contributes nearly $2.5 billion to its economy.
“Complementing the state’s agriculture and food processing industries, Georgia offers 178 million cubic feet of cold storage space. Logistics and infrastructure stemming from Georgia’s already central location in the southeastern U.S. allow companies to quickly and efficiently move products in and out of the state,” it stated.
State Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper called Walmart’s decision to choose Valdosta “a great victory” for Georgia.
“This new, state-of-the-art facility will not only bring jobs and opportunity to the Valdosta area, it will enable our dairy farmers to produce more goods from start to finish right here in Georgia — sending a larger share of the retail dollar back to the family farm and giving Georgia consumers access to the freshest dairy products possible,” Harper noted.
Trimble CEO Rob Painter discusses the company’s continued investment in the freight transportation industry and its vision for a more connected supply chain. Tune in above or by going to RoadSigns.ttnews.com.
Bill Slaughter, chairman of the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners, said local officials are thrilled about having the new facility.
“This exciting opportunity will not only bring new jobs and investment to our community, it will also stimulate growth and innovation throughout the region,” he said. “We look forward to partnering with this dynamic company to build a better future for all who call Lowndes County home.”
Pat Wilson, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, said projects such as the dairy facility create “a positive ripple-effect” for the state’s entire agricultural industry ecosystem.
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