- Project Sponsor: Commonwealth Dairy
- Investment: $6.25 million
- Location: Brattleboro
- Dairy processing and storage facility expansion
Vermont Rural Ventures partnered with Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation to provide $12.5 million in New Markets Tax Credit financing allowing Commonwealth Dairy to expand its production and warehouse space, acquire specialized equipment to improve operating efficiencies, control costs, create jobs, and keep the company competitive within its marketplace.
Commonwealth Dairy, a joint venture between Ehrmann USA and Commonwealth Yogurt, is a class II dairy facility manufacturing conventional, all natural, rBST free, and organic milk into a variety of yogurt styles, primarily focusing on private label, co-pack, and branded yogurt products, including its own Green Mountain Creamery line of yogurt products.
Gap and Investment
After just a year of operations, demand for Commonwealth Dairy products greatly exceeded its production, sales, and employment capacity, resulting in the business’s need for increased space and equipment.
Financing from Vermont Rural Ventures enabled the expansion of the newly created facility by 23,000 square feet of processing, dry, and cold storage space. Additionally, the business was able to stay ahead of market trends by acquiring pouch filling, waste water treatment, whey processing, and product packaging equipment.
Vermont Rural Ventures’ investment into Commonwealth Dairy’s expanded manufacturing plant adds a minimum of 34 new jobs to Commonwealth’s existing workforce of over 80 individuals. It not only solidifies the company’s ability to grow and expand, but also impacts the Vermont dairy industry by increasing demand for milk, and ultimately netting higher milk prices to farmers.
As a further benefit to the community, Commonwealth Dairy shares 5% of its net profits with the farmers who supply its milk to facilitate milk quality improvements, increased production, and herd sizes; provides scholarships to University of Vermont and Vermont Technical College students; offers internships; and supports the Vermont Food Bank and other community events and organizations.
Vermont Rural Ventures: Beth Boutin and Nancy Owens
Business: Commonwealth Dairy
Legal: Husch Blackwell LLP, Sherin and Lodgen LLP, Nolan Sheehan Patten LLP, Nixon Peabody LLP, Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC,
Architect: MSKTD & Associates
Contractor: Stahlman Group
US Bancorp Community Development Corporation
Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation