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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Farmer-owned co-op with 3 Idaho plants says it will boost its Boise presence. This is why

By Angela Palermo, The Idaho Statesman

A Seattle dairy cooperative with more than 40 Idaho farms and nearly 400 Idaho employees says it will open a Boise office to serve them better.

Darigold doesn’t have a location nailed down yet, but hopes to secure office space by early next year.

The farmer-owned cooperative said in a news release that the office will bring key functions closer to its farms and its milk-processing plants. Darigold has three plants in Idaho, in Boise, Caldwell and Jerome.

Most of those farms are concentrated in or around the Treasure and Magic valleys.

“This new office location gives us greater access to a larger workforce focused on agriculture, creates a better opportunity to establish Darigold as an employer of choice and valued community partner, and establishes a presence closer to farming and production operations in much of our region,” Darigold CEO Joe Coote said in the release.

Darigold is the brand of milk products for the Northwest Dairy Association, which is owned by nearly 300 family-owned farms in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. It handles about 10 billion pounds of milk a year. Its products are available at most major retailers, including Albertsons, WinCo, Costco, Fred Meyer, Walmart and Whole Foods.

The cooperative has been processing milk in Idaho since 1930, about 12 years after it formed, the Idaho Statesman previously reported.

Its Boise plant at 618 N. Allumbaugh St. makes extended shelf-life milk and cultured products like sour cream and cottage cheese, according to Chris Arnold, a spokesperson for the company.

The Caldwell plant at 122 N. 5th Ave. makes butter. The Jerome plant makes powdered milk products used in infant formulas and other packaged goods.

Nearly a quarter of the cooperative’s milk supply, about 5.3 million pounds a day, comes from farms in the Gem State.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little welcomed Darigold’s planned office, saying in the news release that the state’s “red-hot economy” and robust agricultural sector are attracting more companies.

In 2020, Darigold pledged to spend $67 million to expand its Boise plant, adding a packaging line to produce a lactose-free milk called Darigold Fit with more protein and less sugar than conventional milk.

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