3:46pm

Thu October 17, 2013
Business

Syracuse dairy co-op plans merger with national operation

A Northeast dairy cooperative headquartered in Syracuse plans to merge with a larger national operation from Missouri.

Century-old Dairylea told members at its annual meetings this week of its plan to merge with Dairy Farmers of America. Dairylea has been a partner organization since 2002.

The move, pending approval from members, will better position its farmers for the future, Dairylea spokeswoman Karen Cartier said.

"Dairylea members would have immediate access to the growing export marketplace, which is extremely important as a significant amount of the nation's milk going into exports," she said.

Its farmers will also have access to Dairy Farmers of America's strong network of brands, she said.

Dairylea has about 2,000 member farms in the Northeast compared to DFA's more than 13,000 farms. Dairylea employs about 300 people at its Syracuse headquarters. Their jobs will not be affected, Cartier said.

Members will vote on the merger in February.

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