As Walmart’s fluid milk processing plant continues to move toward operating at capacity, the vertically integrated retailer has experienced plenty of disdain from farmers across the country. While it’s true that the new plant played a role in a Dean Foods decision to close milk plants and therefore leave some dairy farmers without a processor, one farmer says the Walmart plant is benefiting producers.
In 2015, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture release a plan describing the state’s desire to grow a larger presence in the dairy industry. That report paired with Walmart’s desire to get closer to the dairy supply chain is how they chose to build the plant in Ft. Wayne, according to Walmart’s Molly Blakeman.
“We wanted to be able to do what Walmart does best: figure out how to leverage different pieces of the supply chain and ultimately be able to provide a better price for our customers,” she explains.
Once they determined the location of the plant, it was time to find dairy farmers to supply it.
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