By this time next year, there will be a factory in Batavia turning out 4,000 tons of yogurt on an annual basis, employing 55 people and buying milk from local dairy farmers.
The first step toward that goal was taken today with a ceremonial groundbreaking by South America-based Alpina Products at the site of its planned 40,000-square-foot facility.
“Alpina’s decision to locate in Batavia is a success for the entire region,” said Town of Batavia Supervisor Greg Post.
Alpina started marketing yogurt products aimed at U.S. consumers in the Northeast several years ago. The Batavia plant will be its first U.S.-based manufacturing facility.
Managing Director Carlos Ramirez Zavarce said Alpina was built on European tradition and now embraces American pride in expansion in New York.
Batavia, he said, was part of a list of 50 potential sites for the plant when Alpina first started planning for growth, but quickly moved to the head of the class.
Besides a strong dairy tradition and an abundant supply of milk, as well as trained workers and easy access to a market area of 125 million potential consumers, local leaders demonstrated, he said, that they would be as committed to Alpina's success as the company's executives.
"We understood that you got the message that if we were successful, you would be successful," Ramirez said. "That was very important for us. We have no doubt we're going to have success here. This is the right location, the right place."
After the groundbreaking, attendees were invited to sample Alpina's yogurt products and there was a strong sense of excitement about this initial factory opening in the long-anticipated agri-business park.
“Today’s groundbreaking of Alpina Foods’ first manufacturing facility in the United States is proof that Batavia is a great place to do business,” said Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer. “Alpina’s $15 million investment and its decision to create 50 jobs sends a clear message that other private-sector companies should consider Genesee County for their next investment.”
GCEDC CEO Steve Hyde has said previously that there are other prospects for the business park in the pipeline, but until deals are signed, he is unable to provide public details.
VIDEO: Promotional video from Alpina.
Alpina CEO Julian Jaramillo
Alpina Managing Director Carlos Ramirez Zavarce
Roger Parkhurst, who will be director of operations at the new plant
Sen. Mike Ranzenhoffer and Assemblyman Steve Hawley
GCEDC CEO Steve Hyde