Taiwanese dairy manufacturer and co-packer Jetton Biochemistry Co. Ltd. will locate a new blended milk powder facility near Boise to produce a proprietary dairy formula for export to Asian markets.
The announcement was made by Idaho Department of Commerce Director Tom Kealey at the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
The company estimates it will process about 2.4 million pounds of milk powder annually and plans to pursue opportunities to produce multiple product lines within the U.S.
The facility is planned for more than 100,000 square feet and will be in a commercial park in Nampa with an initial investment of $2 million.
The company’s production of powdered milk and whey will be used in high-protein and nutrient products geared at children, the elderly and the physically active, Eddie Yen, trade manager for the Idaho Commerce Department, said.
The company is also evaluating opportunities to co-pack fluid milk, either for itself or another company, he said.
Construction of the facility, which JBC will lease, is expected to begin in July. The company expects to start operating late this year or early next year, hiring 25 local employees.
JBC is another addition to Idaho dairy processing. The volumes aren’t huge to start, but it’s a good company with lots of contacts and relationship in Southeast Asia, Rick Naerebout, executive director of Idaho Dairymen’s Association, said.
“There’s a lot of opportunity working with a company like this and, in particular, this company. We’re optimistic this can lead to a lot of good business in the future for Idaho dairy,” he said.
The company won’t be buying milk directly but plans to purchase milk powders from Idaho companies, which will increase local demand for powders — which will increase demand for Idaho milk, he said.
The company’s decision to locate in Idaho is recognition of what the state brings to the table, not just its dairy industry but also a state government that wants businesses to thrive, he said.
Idaho has a successful longstanding relationship with Taiwan and was a premier choice for JBC’s expansion, Idaho Gov. Brad Little said in a press release.
“Our quality raw materials and history of international collaboration combined with the state’s stable tax and operating environment make Idaho a natural fit for JBC and other international firms looking for a new location in the United States,” he said.
JBC compared milk sources in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. and finally chose Idaho milk sources, Rover Lin, CEO of JBC, said in the press release.
“Our value is based on the supply chain of raw materials and the value of dairy products within that chain. Idaho’s quality and technology of milk production is consistently improving. This will be a very important asset for our products to compete internationally,” he said.
The JBC facility in Nampa won’t be limited to its own brand and is scheduled to handle additional brands, bringing more diversified products to Idaho, according to the Commerce Department.