The Pine Belt closure, along with a closure in Dothan, Alabama, could impact southeast U.S. milk distribution.

In early August just as students were returning to school, Borden Dairy announced the closure of its Hattiesburg, Mississippi processing facility by September 30th.  The move could impact milk distribution in the southeast.

According to Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB), since May, the company, which filed for bankruptcy in 2022, has sold, closed or leased nine of its 14 processing facilities.

GFB notes that Milkshedsblog shared that the Hattiesburg closure, along with the closure in Dothan, Alabama, will affect dairies in Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi. They say Borden products have a distribution area which covers a wide swath of the lower southeast, including the Gulf Coast.

“The southeast is quickly becoming a ‘milk desert,’ which is defined as a region of significant population with limited access to nearby farms which produce nutrient dense foods, and in this case, that’s milk,” the blog wrote on the recent Borden announcement.

Since 2020, Borden has gone through a number of company changes, including filing for bankruptcy and selling off substantially all of its assets to Capitol Peak Partners and KKR.

Founded in 1857 by Gail Borden, Jr., Borden produces more than 35 wholesome and delicious products enjoyed by millions of people every day. Borden was the first company to develop a patent for the process of condensing milk, as well as the first company to use glass milk bottles.