Maola Milk Closing New Bern Production Plant

A mainstay in New Bern's economy is moving its operations.

Maola Milk announced today that it will be closing the New Bern production plant, that's where it got its start in 1935. Operations will move to Newport News and High Point, according to Maola.

The brand is owned by the Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative, and its products are popular throughout the Southeast grocery stores.

The company says 98 workers will lose their jobs when the plant on Avenue C closes July 27th. Plant general manager Danny Lovell says another 30 workers will stay on to distribute their product to customers.

A spokeswoman says there are three reasons why the New Bern plant is closing. One is a decline in national milk consumption, the second is a competitive market is forcing consolidations and closures of plants across the Southeast, and third it is more effective to move production facilities closer to population centers and customers.

Lovell says another factor is that most of their raw milk supply comes from the Western part of the state, and it is costly to bring the milk to New Bern for processing and then truck it back for sale.

"We have some sad employees," said Lovell. "We too are sad because we have dedicated and hard working employees."