AMPI reports $1.7 billion in sales

Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) delivered sales of $1.7 billion and earnings of $9.3 million in 2012, according to leaders of the Upper Midwest milk marketing cooperative. Some 350 voting delegates and guests reviewed the company’s progress during their annual business meeting this week in Bloomington, Minn.

AMPI’s core products were the cooperative’s top performers in 2012. Cheese production, which represents 57 % of total sales, grew by more than 11 million lbs. as compared to one year earlier. Butter production continued to grow steadily, increasing 5 million lbs.. Consumer-packaged cheese and butter represented nearly half of the cooperative’s sales.

“Our cheese-packaging plant in Portage, Wis., and the New Ulm, Minn., butter plant were major contributors to the cooperative’s bottom line. In the last five years, our consumer-packaged cheese and butter sales have grown exponentially,” said AMPI president and CEO Ed Welch, who indicated orders from food service customers fueled much of the growth.

Following the performance review, AMPI chair Steve Schlangen discussed the cooperative’s strategies for long-term performance. “As a dairy farmer-owned cooperative, AMPI is uniquely positioned to market our locally produced dairy products to food service, retail and food ingredient customers across the nation,” Schlangen said. 

Strengthening the cooperative’s manufacturing portfolio, with a renewed focus on cheese, butter and powdered dairy products, led to the sale of two businesses in 2012. 

“Selling the Cass-Clay® plant and brand in Fargo, N.D., and our cheese sauce and pudding business in Dawson, Minn., was a bold step,” Schlangen said. “However, these two businesses accounted for only 5% of AMPI’s total annual revenue.”

The annual meeting culminates with delegates considering resolutions and reviewing the cooperative’s legislative priorities. 

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About AMPI: Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) is a dairy marketing cooperative owned by 2,900 dairy farmers who market 5.6 billion pounds of milk, resulting in $1.7 billion in annual sales. Members operate dairy farms located throughout the Upper Midwest states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. The members own 11 manufacturing plants and market a full line of consumer-packaged dairy products.