Organic Valley Family of Farms (LaFarge, Wis.) recently broke ground on a new $15-million warehouse in Cashton, Wis. Expected to open in spring 2007, the new facility will support ongoing growth of the farmer-owned cooperative, which increased sales 17% in 2005.
"The new Cashton facility is yet another testament to Organic Valley's ongoing commitment to creating thriving and sustainable communities through organic farming," said George Siemon, CEO for Organic Valley. The 80,000-sq.-ft. facility will sit on 40 acres and employ 50 people.
Organic Valley currently handles distribution at multiple facilities. The Cashton facility is being built to gain environmental and operational efficiencies made possible by housing distribution under one roof. The centerpiece of the Cashton warehouse is a unit-load automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) from Westfalia Technologies, Inc. (York, Pa.)
"The ASRS allows this facility to have a smaller footprint than typical warehouses," said Hemstead. "We want to use as few land resources as possible. We also expect the system will enhance our inventory management and virtually eliminate product loss due to expiration dates."
The ASRS will also reportedly allow for improved working conditions. The building can be kept at more moderate temperatures, and safety is improved since employees are not moving heavy loads overhead as they would in conventional warehouses, Organic Valley reports in a statement.
Source: Organic Valley.