(Host) The former Fairdale Farms dairy plant in Bennington will be closing in June. The company, now known as Garelick Farms of Vermont, will transfer roughly half of its 125 employees to its facility in East Greenbush, N.Y.
Both facilities are owned by Dean Foods, based in Dallas, Texas. Dean Foods supplies milk to about 70 to 75 percent of New England’s retailers.
Lance Matteson is the executive director of Bennington County Industrial Corporation. He says that while it will be difficult to find replacement work for laid-off employees, he’s confident Bennington will remain a vital economic force:
(Matteson) “We’re suffering from shocks of recession and global trends like consolidation and outsourcing and so forth. And we’re going to have to adapt and change and figure out how to prosper and compete, and we are in the process of doing that. Bennington County has a business recruitment plan that’s quite detailed, and we have put some resources into it. We’re working, by the way, with Dean Foods on future uses of that specific facility, and I’m very hopeful that we’ll be able to figure out what to do. We have done this in the past when we have had downtimes, and we will do it now.”
(Host) Matteson adds the Dean Foods decision to move operations to the East Greenbush facility was a practical choice. He says the New York plant simply has more physical space for future expansion.