Bringing the dryer online is a milestone for the Seattle-based company after a fire destroyed the dryer in February 2012.
Darigold has completed work on its new milk powder dryer at its Lynden, Wash., processing plant. Bringing the dryer online is a milestone for the organization after a fire destroyed the dryer in February of 2012.
"After 13 -months of demolition and renovation, we are excited to announce that the new dryer has been completed," says Jim Wegner, President and CEO. "We will now begin the process of initial start-up runs through the new dryer. During this process, we will be fine tuning the equipment and completing our employee training. As a dairy cooperative focused on its members and providing high quality dairy products for our consumers, we at Darigold are thrilled to bring this much needed capacity back online, continuing to create a secure market for our owners’ milk. The new dryer is designed to meet very high functional qualities and stringent customer standards."
The new dryer measures 22 feet in diameter and is 108 feet tall, and is enclosed by concrete walls and insulated metal panels that measure up to 130 feet. The new dryer will be able to produce 16,800 pounds of powder per hour, approximately 6% more powder annually than the dryer it replaced.
Darigold’s board of directors, made up of Northwest farmers, made a commitment to not only re-build the dryer that was lost, but to upgrade the technology of the dryer during the reconstruction. The new dryer will not only be able to produce condensed milk powders, such as Non-fat Dry Milk Powder and Skim Milk Powder, but will be also be able to produce Whole Milk Powder for domestic and export markets.
While many know Darigold for the great-tasting dairy products found in the grocer’s dairy case, some do not know that Darigold is a large international exporter of dairy products. This international market is very important to the organization’s business model. As a long-term supplier to countries around the world, Darigold exports two thirds of its milk powder production and three-quarters of its whey products. In 2012, Darigold exported 800 million pounds of bulk dairy products or 8,200 20-foot equivalent containers overseas. Darigold’s milk powders are used in a wide variety of products from infant formulas to baked goods and nutritional products to confectionery items.
Headquartered in Seattle, Wash., Darigold, Inc. is the marketing and processing subsidiary of the Northwest Dairy Association, which is owned by approximately 525 dairy producers throughout the Northwest. Darigold, Inc. produces a full line of dairy-based products for retail, foodservice, commodity and specialty markets, and is one of the largest U.S. dairy processors. Darigold, Inc. operates 12 processing plants throughout the Northwest, processing high-quality milk produced by its dairy farm families.