Economic Development, Food Service & Agriculture, and Manufacturing

Milk producer invests $96.3M in plant expansion, 100 jobs

May 27, 2014
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Milk producer invests $96.3M in plant expansion, 100 jobs
Fairlife markets itself as a “health an wellness company based in dairy.” Photo via fb.com

A milk producer is planning to undergo a $96.3-million expansion at its plant in the region and create 100 jobs in the process.

Chicago-based fairlife, the producer of Core Power, a workout-recovery drink, and fairlife “purely nutritious milk,” plans to construct two bottling lines and add machinery at its Coopersville plant, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp. on Tuesday.

As part of an incentive agreement, fairlife has agreed that at least 51 of the 100 jobs will be held by low- to moderate-income people.

The jobs will be created over the next two years.

Fairlife was named one of the “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Food” by Fast Company magazine, in part for its commitment to environmentally conscious growth.

“Innovation is a key component to West Michigan’s food processing companies,” said Ken Rizzio, director of business services, Lakeshore Advantage, a regional economic development nonprofit. “As a result, fairlife has quickly established solid footing in Ottawa County. Their decision to expand in Coopersville reinforces the positive business environment and strong food processing system in West Michigan.”

Incentives

Lakeshore Advantage said that the Michigan Strategic Fund has approved a $9.34 million performance-based incentive package for the fairlife project, to be realized over 12 years.

As part of the package, the city of Coopersville was awarded $2.4 million in Community Development Block Grant funds for needed infrastructure improvements. The city of Coopersville will also contribute $384,000 toward the improvement of wastewater collection and transmission at the fairlife site.

“Fairlife has been a fantastic addition to the economic vitality in the city of Coopersville,” said Rodney Lloyd, mayor, Coopersville.

In 2013, fairlife received a $900,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant to construct its Coopersville facility. The company has completed construction of the facility and created 77 jobs since the grant was approved.

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