Prepared Foods November 8, 2004 enewsletter

Effective November 1, Humboldt Creamery Association completed acquisitions that nearly double the cooperative's size, announced Rich Ghilarducci, Humboldt Creamery's president and chief executive officer. In the midst of market consolidation, this co-op of 62 dairy families has chosen to remain independent by securing its future through acquisitions and consolidating all of its operations in California.

Recent acquisitions include:
-- The August 1 purchase of a 40,000-square-foot distribution facility and nine acres in Stockton, Calif., from P&O Cold Logistics.
-- The November 1 acquisition of the ice cream division of WestFarm Foods, which has facilities in Seattle, Wash.; San Jose, Calif.; and Los Angeles, Calif.; and a license of the WestFarm Foods/Darigold brand of ice cream.
-- The November 1 acquisition of Arctic Ice Cream in Seattle, Wash., as well as the company's Arctic Ice Cream and Vitarich Ice Cream brands.

Manufacturing and distribution will be consolidated into Humboldt Creamery's packaged ice cream plant located in Fortuna, Calif., the newly acquired WestFarm Foods/Darigold novelties plant in Los Angeles and the newly acquired national distribution facility in Stockton. Both manufacturing plants will be expanded to accommodate the growth.

"Humboldt Creamery will become a full-service frozen dessert supplier to the retail grocery industry and one of the largest ice cream manufacturers in the U.S.," said Ghilarducci. "This company expansion will allow us to preserve our members' pasture-based family dairies and protect green space in Northern California for generations to come."

In conjunction with the expansion announcements, Ghilarducci also announced the national launch of a new Humboldt Creamery brand of organic super-premium ice cream. The product is expected to begin retail distribution in the first quarter of 2005.

Humboldt Creamery is a member co-op association owned by 62 Northern California dairy families. The company, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in October, produces a full line of dairy products, including fluid milk, powdered milk, ice cream and frozen novelties in both conventional and organic form.