Harris Teeter plans to sell its Hunter Farms dairy processing plant to Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association.
The sale of the plant, located in High Point, N.C., is slated to close Aug. 30, Harris Teeter said Tuesday. Financial terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed.
Hunter Farms produces milk, frozen dairy desserts, juices, culture products and ice cream. The facility employs nearly 160 full-time associates.
“Hunter Farms is a unique part of the Harris Teeter business, as it is not only Harris Teeter’s sole dairy resource and a very recognizable and beloved brand in our stores, but it also supplies dairy products to other major retail and restaurant chains across the Southeastern United States,” Danna Robinson, communication manager for Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter, said in a statement. “Hunter Farms’ successful and recognizable ice cream and beverage brands will continue to be featured on Harris Teeter’s shelves, and our valued associates will be retained and offered comparable positions with the new owner.”
Dairy brands supplied by Hunter Farms include Hunter Farms, Highland Crest and Harris Teeter.
On its website, Hunter Farms said it supplies milk (skim, half-percent, 1%, 2%, whole milk, buttermilk and chocolate milk), ice cream and other dairy items to Harris Teeter stores under the Hunter Farms, Highland Crest and Harris Teeter brands, including products for other grocery stores. The plant also supplies dairy products to foodservice and quick-serve restaurant chains across the Southeast, such as buttermilk for Hardee's and Frosty mix for Wendy’s that is distributed in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee.
“Harris Teeter would like to thank our skilled and dedicated associates for building a successful business so many organizations depend on and for creating a beloved brand as well as products our shoppers crave,” Robinson added. “We believe Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association Inc. will continue the legacy of the Hunter Farms business, investing in the High Point community and providing continued employment for our dedicated and valued associates.”
With the addition of the Hunter Farms plant, the Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association will have five processing facilities, including locations in Newport News and Strasburg, Va., and Laurel and Landover, Md.
Based in Reston, Va., the cooperative encompasses more than 900 dairy farm families in 13 states and produces 3 billion pounds of milk a year for consumers and manufacturers worldwide, including Maola brand milk and dairy products.
“The purchase of the Hunter Farms dairy processing plant is a long-term investment and growth opportunity for our cooperative in the High Point community,” stated Jay Bryant, CEO of the Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative. “We are excited to strengthen our value-added business and expand our cooperative’s processing footprint in the Southeast. With our five processing plants working in cooperation, we are establishing ourselves as the premier sustainable choice for dairy on the East Coast.”
Part of The Kroger Co., Harris Teeter operates about 260 supermarkets in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland, Delaware, Florida and the District of Columbia. In addition, Harris Teeter owns grocery, frozen food and perishable distribution centers in Greensboro and Indian Trail, N.C.