USA – Walmart, the largest retail store chain in the United States, has announced plans to construct a US$350 million milk processing plant in Valdosta, Georgia.

The facility is expected to serve more than 750 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores in Georgia and neighboring states.

In addition, Walmart aims to secure its milk supply and offer high-quality milk at competitive prices to customers.

While the retail giant has traditionally purchased its “Great Value” branded milk from other dairy cooperatives, it has recently been building its milk processing plants to control production.

The new plant in Valdosta follows the opening of its first fluid milk processing facility in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 2018.

By owning its milk processing facilities, Walmart can reduce its reliance on other dairy companies.

This approach aligns with other large grocers like Kroger, which have long operated their own dairy processing facilities.

However, critics have raised concerns that Walmart primarily buys milk from a few large farms, potentially pressuring smaller dairy operations.

The new milk processing plant in Valdosta is set to begin operations in late 2025 and is expected to employ nearly 400 people.

It will produce gallons and half gallons of white and chocolate milk using ingredients sourced from local farmers in the Southeast region for Walmart’s “Great Value” and “Members Mark” brands.

This investment in a milk processing plant represents Walmart’s commitment to expanding its presence in the dairy industry and further controlling the production of a vital grocery commodity.

The move also supports Walmart’s goal of providing affordable and high-quality products to its customers.

Georgia is known for its dairy industry, with 89 dairy farms housing 92,000 dairy cows.

The state produced 235 million gallons of milk in 2022, making it the leading southern state in milk production. The new processing facility is expected to strengthen Georgia’s agriculture sector and create job opportunities in the region.

In addition to promoting local dairy production, the plant will help Walmart meet the growing demand for milk products, particularly in its stores in Georgia and nearby states.

While Americans have been consuming less milk per person in recent years, there is still a significant market for milk and dairy products.

Walmart’s investment in this milk processing plant is in line with its broader strategy to support domestic agriculture and enhance its supply chain for various products, including dairy.

The company’s commitment to local sourcing and job creation underscores its role as a significant player in the U.S. retail and grocery industry.

Walmart is expected to begin operations at the new milk processing plant in late 2025, further contributing to the economic development of the region and ensuring a stable supply of dairy products for its stores in the Southeastern U.S.

The facility will process milk sourced from local farmers and produce a range of products under the “Great Value” and “Members Mark” brands, providing customers with quality dairy options.