Chobani Inc., maker of America’s No. 1-selling Greek yogurt brand, and Cornell University are partnering to promote innovation in dairy and food science. Made possible by a $1.5 million gift from Chobani to the university, the partnership marks an important step in elevating the broader dairy industry and New York State’s role as a Greek yogurt leader through innovative research and reinforces Chobani’s continued focus on manufacturing and quality, Chobani says.
In addition to this partnership, Chobani also has named Dr. Alejandro Mazzotta as VP of global quality, food safety and regulatory affairs in support of the company’s continued commitment to innovation and quality. Mazzotta brings to the team more than two decades of leadership in microbiology, food science and compliance at global packaged goods companies and a respected track record of industry research.
“Today is an exciting day for Chobani as we formalize and bolster our commitment to food innovation and quality with these two endeavors,” says Chobani President and COO David Denholm. “Cornell’s Department of Food Science is one of the leading programs of its kind globally—a match to Chobani’s leading role in Greek yogurt and our mission to bring better food options to everyone. Alejandro’s exceptional expertise only furthers our purpose and ensures consistent quality with every cup.”
“This partnership will strengthen the science behind New York’s dairy industry and help us better accomplish our land-grant mission to bring new information, technologies and a well-prepared workforce to this expansive industry,” says Kathryn J. Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Our goal is not only high-quality dairy products, but also economic growth in communities that need it the most.”
Yogurt, including high-protein Greek yogurt, has become an economic powerhouse in upstate New York. New York production now accounts for 70 percent of all Greek yogurt sales and the state surpasses California as the country’s top yogurt producer.
Chobani’s gift will establish a research and training program that will support graduate student research along with workforce development in dairy quality.
Chobani’s gift is part of the “Cornell Now” campaign, which is rallying private support for the Ithaca campus and Weill Cornell Medical College in anticipation of the university’s sesquicentennial in 2015. To date, the “Cornell Now” campaign has reached more than 85 percent of its $4.75 billion goal for fundraising.