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Glanbia acquires Sartori cheese, expected economic boost

Where the Sartori Cheese plant in Blackfoot formerly stood, now houses the Twin Falls based company Glanbia Foods.

On Friday the globally-traded company announced it has officially acquired the Sartori Cheese plant that has inhabited that building for the past six years. Glanbia representatives said they are excited to see the innovation they can come up with while expanding the company and producing more amounts of cheese.

“For us to come in and help build on that history and take this plant and forward it, is a great opportunity for everyone involved,” Blackfoot Glanbia Foods project manager Riley Wight said.

Wight also said Glanbia will only be using milk that comes from local dairy farmers, claiming this will be a “win-win” situation for everybody involved in the community and the workforce.

“It will be a local place for them to continue to ship their milk and an opportunity for us to have this plant here to work with our new products and developments,” Wight said.

Blackfoot city officals agree bringing in this large company is a needed resource to help build the local ecnomy.

“It will be, really, a buildup,” Blackfoot Mayor Mike Virtue said. “(It will) increase in volume as they go, and an increase in employees as they go. So it can only be good for the city of Blackfoot.”

Virtue also said this acquisition will allow the company to hire around 50 employees, which is double the amount who worked for Sartori.

The significance of having Glanbia move into town is expected to have a ripple-effect on the local economy, as the aspect of large companies moving in is rare with today’s economic uncertainty looming over many of the nation’s smaller cities. Virtue pointed out this is a time where billion dollar companies are holding-off from investing until there is, in fact, economic certainty.

“When you see the sun rise, then you get out your checkbooks and start writing checks for expansions,” Virtue added when describing the importance of Glanbia taking interest in Blackfoot.

One Glanbia press release stated the company is the world’s largest American cheese producer, turning-out more than 880 million pounds of cheese each year, while shipping to 30 countries around the globe.

Follow Kaitlin on Twitter: @KaitlinLoukides

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