The approx. $500MM specialized milk protein and butter plant near Pasco, Wash. will include anaerobic digestion technology and electric vehicle infrastructure.

Darigold, Inc. is building a new premium protein and butter operation which will feature a suite of state-of-the-art technologies and strategies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When operational, these strategies will cut per unit emissions by 25% compared to our existing baseline. The agreement with the Port of Pasco in Washington marks yet another major milestone in implementing the farmer-owned cooperative’s 2050 carbon neutral goals.

“Our producers have been at the vanguard of the dairy sector for over 100 years, constantly building on their outstanding record of sustainability and stewardship practices,” said Stan Ryan, President and CEO of Darigold. “They are proud to boost the co-op’s competitiveness with this future-forward investment in a next-generation dairy facility, preserving the legacy of nearly 350 multigenerational farms.”

Part of the Seattle-based organization’s wider transformation and trade-intensive growth plan, the specialized 400,000-square-foot protein and butter facility will incorporate a variety of innovative technologies and conservation strategies that combined could mitigate over 300,000 metric tons of CO2e per year.

Darigold will deploy anaerobic digestion technology as part of the on-site wastewater treatment strategy and use the extracted methane as a natural gas substitute, reducing fossil fuel use. This will be complemented by best-in-class machinery that enables heat and energy recovery and reuse. In addition, the new infrastructure is designed to accommodate future electric vehicles, including a potential conversion of our large fleet of semi-trucks — further reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation.

Darigold’s new operation furthers the cooperative’s advancement of its environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitment. Situated within the multimodal Port of Pasco on the Columbia River, it will have access to both rail and barge facilities and will slash the distance trucks travel for milk pickups and deliveries by 5 million miles annually.

“We are thrilled to welcome Darigold to Pasco and the Reimann as the anchor tenant in the Port’s largest industrial park. It’s incredibly rare to attract a project of this size and scope,” said Randy Hayden, the Port of Pasco’s Executive Director. “Darigold’s state-of-the-art facility will use the latest technology, serve as a model of sustainability, and create a new market for our region’s ag producers.”

As well as investing approximately $500MM in the project, Darigold is expecting to create over 1,000 onsite and indirect supply chain and services jobs. Initial site development is expected to start in early 2022 with full commercial production targeted for late 2023 or early 2024.

Construction of the facility and the Port of Pasco agreement are contingent upon fair and equitable treatment under all new Washington state environmental legislation, which the company is currently assessing.