Producers Dairy acquired this milk plant in Fairfield, California in 2018. Image via Producers Dairy website

published on April 14, 2020 - 12:10 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Fresno-based Producers Dairy has purchased a Nevada milk processing plant and the Berkeley Farms brand via an auction of the assets of Dean Foods, the nation’s largest milk processor that filed for bankruptcy protection last year.

Producers Dairy agreed to purchase the Texas-based Dean Foods’ Reno, Nevada milk plant for $3.7 million, and also paid $3 million for the trademark and related intellectual property of Berkeley Farms for $3 million, according to an April 4 news release from Dean.

Berkeley Farms’ facility in Hayward is set to shut down operations by the end of this month, eliminating hundreds of jobs.

When Dean Foods filed for bankruptcy protection in November 2019, it had reported net losses for seven of its eight previous quarters. A combination of factors — low prices, trade tensions, falling demand, labor worries, the emergence of nondairy milk alternatives and more – have rocked the dairy industry over the last decades.

Based in Dallas, Dean Foods had previously been the largest dairy processor and direct-to-store supplier in the U.S. Its assets were sold through acution for nearly half a billion dollars.

Industry turmoil has reportedly become even more acute in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Founded in 1932, Producers Dairy is a third-generation family business run by the Shehadey family. Its corporate headquarters is located at 250 E. Belmont Ave. just north of Downtown Fresno. Producers is known for its iconic partnership with Hollywood actor William Boyd, who played fictional Western hero Hopalong Cassidy in a television series of the same name in the 1950s.  

The company acquired a milk plant in Fairfield in 2018, also through an auction. The plant was previously owned by Sunnyside Farms.

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