Governor Hochul and The Coca-Cola Company Celebrate Groundbreaking of New fairlife® Production Facility in Monroe County – The Largest Dairy Production Facility in the Northeast

Governor Kathy Hochul and representatives from The Coca-Cola Company and fairlife today marked the groundbreaking on a new fairlife production facility, a $650 million investment in the Town of Webster, Monroe County. The 745,000 square-foot facility, being built on Tebor Road, will serve as fairlife’s flagship Northeast location and is expected to be operational by Q4 of 2025. Empire State Development is providing up to $21 million in assistance for the fairlife project through the performance-based Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit Program and the New York Power Authority is providing nearly 8.5 MW of low-cost ReCharge NY power in exchange for the job creation commitments. The company selected New York following a personal pitch from Governor Hochul due to the invaluable assistance from government and community partners and the state’s world-renowned reputation as an agribusiness global leader with an unparalleled, innovative dairy community. The New York State 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.

“New York State is one of the best places in the country to build a business. We’re proud to welcome The Coca-Cola Company and fairlife’s dairy production facility, which represents a $650 million investment in Monroe County,” Governor Hochul said. “Coming from a family of Irish dairy farmers, this is personal to me — and soon, it will be personal to thousands of Finger Lakes residents who will have access to jobs and economic opportunity. I’m committed to making strategic investments in New York’s agribusinesses to secure our place as one of the top dairy producers in the nation, create good manufacturing jobs, and move our state’s economy forward.”

Coca-Cola EVP and President North America Operating Unit Jennifer Mann said, “Breaking ground on the new fairlife facility here in Webster marks an important milestone for The Coca-Cola Company’s presence in New York. The facility will build upon our strong legacy of economic impact in the state, adding competitive jobs and further bolstering economic vitality for New Yorkers.”

fairlife Chief Executive Officer Tim Doelman said, “We are thrilled to be laying the foundation for fairlife’s next phase of growth as we begin construction of the Webster facility, enabling greater distribution of our products in the Northeast and across the country. We are grateful for the collaboration and support we have received from the town of Webster throughout this process and continue to value our growing partnership with the Webster community.”

Governor Hochul also announced that New York State will provide $20 million through the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation to help the Town of Webster upgrade its aging wastewater treatment plant. This financial assistance is crucial to helping the Town meet its critical wastewater infrastructure needs and support this transformative economic development project. Upgrades at the plant will help increase capacity for growing residential and industrial bases and make operations at the treatment plant more environmentally sustainable. The new investment builds on a $20 million FAST NY grant for Monroe County, announced in 2023 by Governor Hochul, for use at the Tebor Road site in Webster, allowing the county to upgrade the existing electrical infrastructure and enhance the region’s appeal to agribusiness and industrial machinery manufacturing sectors.

Founded in 2012, fairlife has designed a line of dairy products that are made through an ultra-filteration process that removes the lactose and much of the sugar and leaves behind more of the protein and calcium. The company offers a wide range of products including fairlife® ultra-filtered milk, Core Power® protein shakes and fairlife® Nutrition Plan®. 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.

Unique to fairlife®, the ultrafiltration process gives their milk a longer shelf life and creates a product with less sugar, more protein and more calcium over conventional milk for sale in the marketplace. Expected utilization is equal to an estimated 5 million pounds of locally sourced milk per day, making it the largest dairy plant in the Northeast and positions New York to remain a nationwide leader in dairy production.

Governor Hochul remains committed to addressing the need for additional agricultural processing capacity and supporting New York’s nearly 3,000 dairy farms. The Governor recently announced $34 million in grant for on-farm milk storage technologies and processing infrastrcture as part of a conceptual agreement on the FY 2025 Budget. As part of the FY 2024 Budget, the Governor secured a major increase in the Investment Tax Credit from 4 percent to 20 percent for farm businesses. The Governor also secured an increase in the Farm Workforce Retention Tax Credit to $1,200 per employee as part of the FY 2023 Budget and established a nation-leading permanent, refundable overtime tax credit for overtime hours paid by farm employers. In addition, the Governor directed the development of an interagency team with Empire State Development and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets in 2023 that is working to alleviate gaps in the supply chain by working with new and expanding businesses to spur further investment in food manufacturing in the State.

Empire State Development President CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “The dairy industry is a critical part of New York State’s economy, so we are over the ‘mooo’-n about breaking ground on fairlife’s new manufacturing facility, and welcome parent company Coca-Cola’s commitment to building jobs and opportunity here in Monroe County. Expanding production in New York will allow fairlife to take full advantage of our state’s unmatched agribusiness resources, including a skilled, experienced talent pool, that will keep dairy aisles stocked and accelerate this company’s continued success.”

New York Power Authority President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said, “We are always looking at the business development landscape throughout New York State to identify places where the Power Authority’s low-cost power can be most impactful. The nearly 8.5 megawatts of ReCharge NY power awarded to Fairlife will help to ensure hundreds of jobs at the beverage manufacturer for years to come in Monroe County.”

Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “We’re so excited to officially welcome fairlife to our dairy community here in New York State. As our number one agricultural sector, dairy is a critical part of the fabric of our state and it’s wonderful to see innovative companies such as fairlife recognize this and join our investment in New York dairy. fairlife’s new Webster location will be so impactful to our upstate dairy farms in the coming years, with 250 jobs created and an expanded market for our fresh, nutritious New York milk. We thank Governor Hochul and our state and local partners for their work in bringing this project to fruition and look forward to raising a glass of New York fairlife milk in celebration!”

Environmental Facilities Corporation President and CEO Maureen A. Coleman said, “Under the leadership of Governor Hochul, New York continues to make water infrastructure investment a top priority throughout the State. The $20 million grant for the Town of Webster is the difference between a well-intended plan and actual shovels in the ground on a project that will help the Town meet its critical wastewater infrastructure needs and lay the foundation for future growth and development.”

State Senator Samra Brouk said, “As a state representative of Webster, I look forward to welcoming fairlife to the Greater Rochester area. Fairlife’s decision to build this facility in our community speaks to the quality of New York’s dairy industry, as well as our robust local workforce. I remain committed to creating a community that is both welcoming to new and growing businesses and supports living wage jobs through our local labor workforce.”

Assemblymember Brian Manktelow said, “I am happy to welcome Fairlife to the 130th Assembly District and thank them for making our community their new home. As a farmer myself, I know the ripple effect that establishing this facility will have on our dairy industry. Not only will it create hundreds of new jobs in Webster, it will also ensure that the dairy farms across our region and the hundreds of people they employ will be able to continue and grow. Today marks a new hope for family farms across our region who will be imperative in supporting Fairlife and supplying them their 5 million pounds of locally sourced milk which will be process here every day.”

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, “We proudly welcome fairlife’s new facility — the largest dairy processing plant in the Northeast — to Webster. Building on our rich heritage from the flour mills of the 19th century to the high-tech industries of today, this plant marks a significant step in our continuing journey of economic innovation and sustainability. fairlife’s investment in our community not only brings new jobs but also reinforces Monroe County’s role as a leader in the modern food and beverage industry. Thank you to fairlife and parent company Coca-Cola for recognizing Monroe County is the right location for their flagship Northeast facility. Thank you also to Empire State Development and Gov. Kathy Hochul for their unwavering commitment to economic development that fosters new opportunities for growth and prosperity throughout New York state.”

Town of Webster Supervisor Tom Flaherty said, “The Town of Webster is proud to officially welcome the Coca-Cola Company and fairlife to our community. This facility represents our commitment to progress, coupled with a strong connection to Webster’s agricultural roots. With a $650 million investment in our area and the creation of an anticipated 250 local jobs, we look forward to witnessing the economic growth fairlife will bring to the area and the substantial impact on residents and families in the Webster community and beyond. As we prepare for a facility of this magnitude, the Town of Webster is making substantial updates to wastewater treatment infrastructure. We are grateful to Governor Hochul and the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation for their partnership and support through $20 million in grant funding for this project.”

CEO of RG&E Parent Company Avangrid Pedro Azagra said, “Supporting the development of the communities we serve continues to be a priority for Rochester Gas and Electric and Avangrid. We are excited to join Governor Hochul, the Coca-Cola Company, fairlife and our partners in the community to celebrate the groundbreaking of this economic driver and job creator for Monroe County.”

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO and Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair Bob Duffy said, “We are thrilled that Greater Rochester was selected in this highly competitive process to host the fairlife production facility. This decision speaks volumes about our region’s strengths, including our skilled workforce, innovative dairy community, supportive business environment, and collective efforts in showcasing what makes Monroe County an ideal destination for major investments. We extend our sincerest gratitude to Governor Hochul, Senator Schumer, and The Coca-Cola Company for their vision and partnership in bringing this project to fruition and look forward to continued collaboration.”

President and CEO Greater Rochester Enterprise Matt Hurlbutt said, “Abundant quality milk supply, highly skilled engineering talent, and a welcoming community with a history of product innovation are a few essential assets that prompted The Coca-Cola Company to select the Greater Rochester, NY region as the site of fairlife’s first northeast U.S. facility. Long after the initial announcement, Greater Rochester Enterprise continues to support fairlife, facilitating connections between the company’s leaders and key regional stakeholders from business, community, and academia. This collaborative effort aims to pave the way for a successful launch and further strengthen the ties between fairlife, the community and the Greater Rochester, NY region’s thriving food and beverage manufacturing sector.”

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