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LANDOVER, Md. -- Giant Food, LLC said late last week that would sell its dairy operation and processing plant here to the Reston, Va.-based Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative for an undisclosed sum. The cooperative, which has provided all of the facility's raw milk for over 30 years, will buy the plant and 11 surrounding acres on March 25.
The Ahold USA-owned grocer said last spring that it would sell the plant, along with the 80-acre Giant corporate headquarters campus in Landover, in accordance with the Netherlands-based retail conglomerate's well-publicized restructuring program to boost profits.
The plant's name will change to Marva Maid of Landover, after the co-op's private brand of milk currently sold in northern Virginia, but the facility will keep producing milk under the Giant brand as well, under the terms of a long-term supply agreement reached between the parties.
"The co-op has been in the fluid milk business for decades and is committed to the plant and the dairy farmers," noted Giant's e.v.p., Bill Holmes, in a statement. "Giant consumers will continue to enjoy the same fresh, quality milk that they have come to expect when shopping at Giant."
The Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative, which is owned by 1,500 family dairy farms from Pennsylvania to Georgia, will retain the plant's approximately 90 workers who are directly involved in milk-processing duties, co-op spokeswoman Amber DuMont told Progressive Grocer.
When the deal closes, the co-op's combined fluid milk processing business will have more than $270 million in total sales and almost 800 employees.
Giant operates 191 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia, including 162 full-service pharmacies, and employs more than 25,000 associates. Giant stores in Delaware operate under the Super G banner.