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Olivia Hill

National Geographic named Buffalo Niagara the third best food city in the entire world. But it’s not just our restaurants that deserve the acclaim – it’s also our food and beverage processing and agribusiness industries that are leading the way. Buffalo Niagara boasts the geographic location, support resources, and track record of success to support your food processing expansion.

Buffalo Niagara is within a 10-hour drive of 40% of the bi-national population. A 10-hour drive gets you as far west as Chicago, south as Louisville, and includes Washington D.C as well as a significant portion of Ontario, Canada, including Toronto and Montreal. That proximity lowers the possibility for spoilage. It also offers access to an immense market, including the populated East Coast.

New York is the third highest dairy producing state in the U.S., and Wyoming County (located within Buffalo Niagara’s service territory) is the largest dairy producing county within in the State. New York is ranked fourth in the country for cheese production, third for dairy production, and number one for the production of yogurt, sour cream, and cottage cheese. 

Those stats are just the tip of the iceberg [lettuce]. About 20 percent of the fresh water in the U.S. passes over Niagara Falls, one of Buffalo Niagaras most precious amenities. The Great Lakes and Niagara Falls don’t just offer Western New York abundant fresh water – it also produces low-cost, reliable hydropower. This low-cost hydropower is reserved by New York State law for companies expanding or building in the Buffalo Niagara region, depending on project size, scope, and new job creation.

Buffalo Niagara also has access to large water aquifers, municipal sewers, and wastewater treatment facilities. 

New York State has additional incentives available specifically for your food processing expansion, including a 0% state corporate income tax for food processors. 

The eight-county Buffalo Niagara region has 21 colleges and universities, producing 25,000 annual graduates. Within 100 miles of downtown Buffalo, that number expands to 47 colleges and universities, further expanding the potential talent pool for your company to pull from. One of the strongest outputs of that academic system is within the food processing and agribusiness industries. Below is a list of just some of the great programs offered for a food processing expansion in Buffalo Niagara to hire talent and/or develop partnerships for growth.

Cornell University
Food Processing Development Laboratory (FPDL)- The FPDL offers a unique food product development and short-term manufacturing space that allows companies to perform research, develop new products, and start new food related businesses.

Department of Food Science- The food science undergraduate and graduate programs include biology/microbiology, chemistry, and nutrition in food and beverage properties. The Cornell Center of Excellence in Food and Agriculture Innovation serves as a hub to connect New York businesses with services they need for success.

Dairy Foods Extension Program- Includes dairy research and extension programs, milk processing from Cornell’s dairy herd. The program and licensed dairy processing plant actually supplies dairy products to the campus.

Brewing Program & Extension Enology Lab (CEEL)- Conducts fermentation in collaboration with researchers. Read our success story on Pressure Drop Brewing for the benefits of Buffalo Niagara in brewing. Oh, and our podcast with Head Brewer Karl Kolbe, too!

Alfred State College
Agricultural Technology Program- Alfred’s campus boasts a 5,300 sq. ft. green house. It’s also the only institution of higher education in the U.S. with both conventional and organic dairy systems on the same farm.

Agricultural Business Program- The campus’ 800 acre college farm also hosts the Center for Organic and Sustainable Agriculture. Alfred State provides companies a great opportunity to both attract talent and approach partnerships.

Genesee Community College
Career Pathways Agribusiness Academy- A program for high school seniors interested in exploring agribusiness as a future career choice.

Food Processing Technology- See New York’s food and beverage supply chain assets here.

Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP)- Prepares for the implementation and maintaining of a HAACP system.

Niagara University
Food Industry Leadership Program - an interdisciplinary program that enables students to gain core knowledge about the vast and diverse food industry while they pursue their chosen academic field. 

Food Industry Excellence Center (FICoE) - The FICoE is organized to provide executive support, college-level education programs, student-centered opportunities in industry, and community service consistent with the Vincentian mission.

Food & Consumer packaged Goods (CPG) Marketing-Pprepares students for exciting careers in the innovative and strategic world of global food and brand marketing.

Sounds too good to be true? Just look at our track record. Buffalo Niagara is home to a strong and growing 1,000+ company agribusiness cluster. Companies like Lactalis, Upstate Farms, HP Hood, Rich Products, Fieldbrook Foods, General Mills, Yancey Fancy, O-AT-KA, Perrys Ice Cream, Goya Foods, Nestle Purina Pet Care, Rosinas, and Steuben Foods call Western New York home. Headquarters for both Tops Markets and Wegmans, grocery stores with a combined almost 300 locations, reside in Buffalo Niagara. 

The Buffalo Niagara region’s centralized geography, reliable infrastructure, low-cost power, lengthy list of support programs, and a strong track record of success are the perfect ingredients for a successful food and dairy processing expansion or relocation.

Interested in learning more?

Download Food & Dairy Processing Brochure

About Us

Founded in 1999, Invest Buffalo Niagara represents the eight counties of Western New York. We are the region’s nonprofit, privately funded economic development organization focused on job creation. 

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