Lactalis American Group has announced a $40 million expansion to its Idaho plant that will increase its mozzarella production, create jobs and increase the plant's purchase of local and regional milk. The new 61,300-square-foot plant will be built behind the existing Lactalis plant east of Nampa.

Work is expected to start next month with the plant opening next spring. Production of fresh mozzarella is expected to increase from 7 million pounds per year to 31 million pounds per year.

The existing Nampa plant – which employs about 600 – will manufacture string cheese and bulk mozzarella, while the 40 people who make fresh mozzarella at the current plant will be transferred to the new facility. Plant manager Lenny Bass says another 70 people will be hired. PD


—AP newswire report