April 14 2020 09:05 AM

From wage increases to additional safety measures, the Cooperative is monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic by putting employees first.

The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

Upstate Niagara Cooperative, a Buffalo-based food and beverage producer consisting of over 300 family-owned farms across New York State, implemented preventative measures at all eight manufacturing facilities it operates, to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for its over 1,500 employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. We rely on the dedication of these everyday heroes who work hard around the clock to help us continue to nourish our communities and ensure a steady food supply.

“As an essential business, we remain committed to doing everything possible to keep our employees and their families safe while meeting the needs of our customers,” said Larry Webster, Chief Executive Officer.

The leadership team at Upstate Niagara Cooperative is working daily to follow CDC guidelines and good manufacturing practice (GMP) protocols. Several new initiatives to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect employees include:

  • Placing hand sanitizer and wipes at all locations
  • Posting signs about proper cleansing and hygiene at all locations
  • Practicing social distancing through virtual meetings and conference calls
  • Increasing cleaning frequency
  • Adopting additional cleaning practices

To recognize the dedication and commitment of Upstate Niagara Cooperative’s employees, the company will also increase pay rates for all hourly associates, by $2.00 per hour for all hours worked. This increase will remain in effect until further notice.

Due to the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, Upstate Niagara Cooperative continues to monitor the situation and encourages its employees to stay healthy and to do their part to help others navigate the “new normal.”

“Doing the right things, supporting each other and holding all of us accountable will go a long way in maintaining a safe work environment,” Webster said. “Better days are ahead.”

For more information about Upstate Niagara Cooperative, visit upstateniagara.com.


A cooperative of over 300 family-owned farms, Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc. is a food and beverage company that has offered innovative, award winning, high quality dairy products since 1965. These product offerings include milk, flavored milk beverages, yogurt, dip, sour cream, cheese, and ice cream mix products marketed under the Upstate Farms®, Bison®, Milk for Life®, Intense Milk® and Valley Farms® brands.