After more than a century in operation, the Dean Foods dairy plant in Sheboygan is closing. Dean Foods has confirmed that the plant will be shuttered “on or before April 30.” The closure will result in the loss of 70 jobs. UW Madison Director of Dairy Policy Analysis Mark Stephenson sees a couple of factors at work here.
“One of them has been a sag in sales for fluid milk,” he said. “It’s been declining really pretty dramatically since about 2010. There’s just a lot more completion for beverage space for consumers.” In addition, Dean has accumulated a lot of plants across the country. “They have consolidated and closed plants in other parts, and I think that this is probably somewhere in that continuum.”
Stephenson expects the closing of the plant to be pretty much of a wash for dairy farmers in the region, although some may have slightly higher costs to transport their milk.