The French dairy powerhosue Eurial International is said to be coming to Columbia County—opening a goat cheese operation in the former Entenmann’s warehouse on Route 9 in Livingston, according to three separate sources.
According to a description in Gourmet News in 2009, “Eurial produces Couturier/ Soignon fresh goat cheese from only the fresh milk it collects from their farmers.” According to one source, the company will initially import curd from France until it secures adequate supplies from regional sources.
Founded as Soignon in 1885, its Couturier division began distributing goat cheese (then a relatively recherché item here) in the U.S. in the early ’80s, and was subsumed into Eurial about 10 years later. The company currently markets its French cheeses in the U.S. through Couturier NA, based in Warwick, Rhode Island.
This continues a recent trend (exemplified by the arrival of 50 new jobs with Etsy in Hudson, 12 new jobs in Stuyvesant with Milk Thistle’s new facility, not to mention the proposed 65 associate positions at Hannaford in Livingston) of Columbia County managing to add blocks of new jobs steadily without any obvious environmental or other so-called “downside impacts.”
Businesses which make use of existing infrastructure, choose sensible locations, and are compatible with the character of the area find the region attractive—and arrive without controversy (unlike, say, the vast, coal-burning plant proposed by St. Lawrence Cement, which promised only one net new job for local residents, yet burned up tons of energy and resources to no purpose).
Over time, the addition of 10 jobs here, 50 jobs there, builds a stable economy, with risks distributed among dozens and dozens of employers—rather than relying on a handful of large industries, who either stay and destroy local residents’ health while chasing away cleaner business, or else stay only as long as they don’t get a sweeter tax deal or other incentive elsewhere. With Taconic’s “mouse farm” laying people off in Livingston, the rumored arrival there of Eurial would seem particularly timely.
Projects like the Americlean toxic waste processing plant (to which Hudson Mayor Scalera and County Development official wanted to give $600,000 to trash the City’s waterfront) or SLC (which would have burned 500 million pounds of coal annually, causing increased asthma, cancer and heart attacks among vulnerable residents) were opposed by citizens not merely on scenic or environmental grounds, but also because they would have diminished the appeal of the area for businesses like those now relocating here—in a beautiful, historic area, where high-tech business can occupy stunning warehouse buildings or agricultural businesses can find quality water and soil.
During the long SLC controversy, there were some who could not give up the 1950s notion that “real” economic development could only mean big smokestacks and giant corporations... even though such industries today only need handfuls of highly-trained engineers to perform work that once required hundreds of people doing manual labor. Growing up in a different era, it was perhaps understandable that some had a hard time accepting that a local economy does not have to rely on a handful of large corporations.
Instead, a community can stitch together lots and lots of smaller businesses—and that in the long run such economies are more diverse, enduring, and mutually-supportive. Even as the nation struggles to see its way out of a depression largely caused by reckless banking and investment practices, it would seem this part of the country is finding its footing on a new, 21st Century path.