The Coca-Cola Company has selected Monroe County in New York State as the location for a new fairlife production facility. To be built in the Town of Webster, the 745,000-square-foot facility is expected to create up to 250 new jobs. Coca-Cola plans to break ground on the project sometime this fall, with the facility slated to be operational by the end of 2025. The total project investment has been estimated at $650 million.
fairlife’s line of products are made through an ultra-filtered milk process that removes the lactose and much of the sugar and leaves behind more of the protein and calcium. The company’s products include fairlife® ultra-filtered milk, Core Power® protein shakes, and fairlife® Nutrition Plan® meal replacement shakes. The Coca-Cola Company has been a strategic partner to fairlife since it was launched in 2012 through the company’s ultimate acquisition of it in 2020.
“Consumer demand for fairlife products is at an all-time high, and a new production facility will allow us to significantly increase capacity and deliver fairlife to even more households across the country,” said fairlife CEO Tim Doelman. “As we continue to grow in the Northeast, Webster’s proximity and access to best-in-class dairy farmers make it an excellent location to support our next phase of growth in the region and beyond. We are sincerely grateful for the collaboration from Governor Hochul and her administration throughout this process.”
The company selected New York State for the project due to assistance from state and local organizations, and its reputation as an agribusiness global leader with an innovative dairy community.
In exchange for job creation commitments, Empire State Development (ESD) will provide up to $21 million in assistance for the project through the performance-based Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit Program. Additionally, the Monroe County IDA is expected to apply to ESD for a $20 million Capital Grant to provide adequate power and other related infrastructure costs to service the site. The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Monroe County Industrial Development Agency, the Town of Webster, Rochester Gas and Electric and Greater Rochester Enterprise were also instrumental in bringing the company to New York State.
“This decision by fairlife to expand their operations in Monroe County marks the next chapter in New York’s agricultural success story,” said Governor Kathy Hochul. “New York’s dairy industry serves as a crucial economic engine for our state, and this $650 million investment from fairlife will create jobs and drive economic impact, particularly in the Finger Lakes.
“We were in tough competition with other states for what will be the largest dairy processing plant in the Northeast and this decision, which comes on the heels of investments from major companies like Micron and Li-Cycle, confirms that New York continues to offer a competitive business environment,” she continued. “Coming from a family of dairy farmers in Ireland, I am proud to have secured this major opportunity to position our state as one of the nation’s top dairy producers.”
fairlife is expected to use an estimated 5 million pounds of locally sourced milk per day, making it the largest dairy plant in the Northeast and positioning New York to regain its place as the 3rd largest producer of milk in the U.S. The project aligns with Gov. Hochul’s promise to address the need for additional agricultural processing capacity to help alleviate the gaps in the supply chain by developing an interagency team with ESD and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets that will work with new and expanding businesses to spur further investment in food manufacturing in the state.
“We are incredibly excited to welcome fairlife to Monroe County,” said ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight. “The company’s plans to put down roots in this upstate community, and its potential to create up to 250 new jobs, is well suited because New York has the unmatched farm and dairy infrastructure to support this project and is a clear leader in dairy production and research and development as well.”
New York State’s agricultural industry is home to almost 3,500 dairy farms and 620,000 cows. A large majority of its farms statewide participate in the state’s AEM program and in national programs such as the NMPF FARM program. By utilizing the most advanced on-farm technologies available, New York dairy farmers remain poised to produce the highest quality milk, in the most environmentally sustainable way.
“Fairlife’s announcement that it will build a new processing plant in New York State is significant news for the state’s dairy farms and our upstate economy,” said New York Farm Bureau President and dairy farmer David Fisher. “It will expand the marketplace for New York produced milk, which is needed for the long-term success of our farms. In addition, the construction and processing jobs that will be created highlight how agriculture contributes to the greater state economy.”
“The Greater Rochester, NY region provides fairlife with a rich ecosystem capable of building a competitive advantage focused on product innovation and business growth,” said Matt Hurlbutt, President and CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise. “By locating in the Greater Rochester, NY region, fairlife gains an ideal site with access to both abundant, quality milk supply as well as highly-skilled engineering talent needed for high-volume advanced manufacturing. Throughout its site selection process, GRE led regional collaboration across business, community, and academia to help fairlife meet essential infrastructure and workforce requirements. GRE looks forward to supporting fairlife and its leadership to establish its first northeast U.S. facility and contribute to the Greater Rochester, NY region’s thriving food and beverage manufacturing sector.”