90 Miles From Tyranny : U.S. yogurt billionaire expands plant to hire more foreign refugees

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

U.S. yogurt billionaire expands plant to hire more foreign refugees

WASHINGTON – Chobani Yogurt, the world’s largest yogurt company, which relies heavily on imported refugee labor, is investing $20 million to expand its plant in Twin Falls, Idaho.

The company, which employs hundreds of refugees in its factories, has faced national backlash and boycotts over its role in the controversial issue of refugee settlement. The concerns have been well documented by WND and other news organizations, including a Wall Street Journal story headlined “In Aftermath of Terror Attacks, Tensions Rise in Idaho Over Refugee Workers.”

But Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya told the Associated Press he stands by his decision to expand his Greek yogurt company in south-central Idaho, which is reportedly among the states with the highest percentage refugee population.

The $20 million state-of-the-art expansion of the company’s facility in Twin Falls serves as its global research and development center, Ulukaya told the AP last week.

“I hear the conversations here and there, but it’s a peaceful community that we all love,” said Ulukaya. “It’s the home of Chobani.”

During Thursday’s expansion launch, Idaho’s Republican Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter praised Chobani’s impact on the community.

“This new investment in Twin Falls reflects Chobani’s commitment to Idaho and to the people who have responded so positively to its corporate citizenship,” Otter said in a prepared statement. “Congratulations to all those who are contributing to Chobani’s growth, just as Chobani is contributing to ours.”

Ulukaya, a Kurdish Muslim and immigrant from Turkey, came to the U.S in 1994 to study business. He created his own yogurt recipe and bought a...

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