Walmart executives joined with state and local officials this morning to celebrate the opening of a 250,000-square-foot milk processing plant, which is a first for the well-established retail giant.
"This is the first time we've ever done anything like this. This is the first time we've ever gotten into food processing," Charles Redfield, Walmart's executive vice president for food, said in an interview with The Journal Gazette. "Fort Wayne, Indiana has been fantastic to work with."
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb attended the opening celebration at the facility at 2322 W. Pleasant Center Road.
Redfield, during opening comments, said the dairy farms supplying the plant are within an average 140 miles from the facility.
"In the dairy industry, that's close," he said.
The advantage of proximity will allow Walmart and the suppliers to reduce costs and be able to pass along savings to customers.
That strategy, Redfield said, is common for Walmart.
"We like to find efficiencies," he said.
Construction of the plant began in 2016 and Walmart created more than 300 jobs in milk processing and transportation, officials have said.
For more on this story, see Thursday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or return to www.journalgazette.net after 1 a.m.