Nampa - Lactalis American Group today announced plans to increase fresh mozzarella production at the Nampa facility, a move that will add about 70 jobs and increase the company's purchase of local and regional dairy.

Construction on the expanded fresh mozzarella plant will begin in March and is expected to last about 10 months. The company expects production to begin in the spring of 2013.

The company plans to increase mozzarella production from 7 million pounds to 31 million pounds per year to meet growing global demand.

The Nampa plant, which currently employs about 600 area residents, is the largest Groupe Lactalis production plant in North America. It's been producing cheese for more than 10 years.

"I applaud Lactalis for their decision to use their Nampa plant for increased cheese production," Gov. Butch Otter said in a press release.

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