The Canadian government has announced more than $2.5 million in its latest funding to support Ontario dairy processors in enhancing productivity and protecting their workers’ health.
The Government will support Empire Cheese Co-operative, the only cheese manufacturing plant operating in Northumberland County, Kawartha Dairy – which operates ten retail stores and specialises in ice cream and fluid milk manufacturing – and Ontario’s second largest manufacturer of goat cheese, Mariposa Dairy.
There are currently over 500 dairy processors in Canada with 164 based in Ontario, accounting for almost 40% of total Canadian dairy sales and more than 8,000 jobs.
Through the Dairy Processing Investment Fund, the Canadian government has approved over $28 million in funding for 29 projects across Ontario that will benefit cheese, yogurt, cream and butter processors.
The fund is designed to help dairy processors modernise their operations and improve productivity and competitiveness.
Kawartha Dairy and Mariposa Dairy will also receive a total of more than $85,000 under the Emergency Processing Fund to enhance worker safety in their facilities in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“These investments will help to modernise Ontario’s dairy processing operations, which will increase productivity and enhance competitiveness,” said Neil Ellis, member of parliament for Bay of Quinte and parliamentary secretary to the minister of agriculture and agri-food.
He added: “By providing for the urgent health and safety needs of workers in these facilities, we are helping these essential operations maintain food production and meet new public health protocol requirements.”
Brian Kerr, CEO and general manager of Kawartha Dairy, said: “Kawartha Dairy is proud to partner with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to bring more of our products to Ontarians, strengthen Canada’s food supply and create more jobs in the rural communities of Bobcaygeon and surrounding area.
“This support is especially important to our farming partners, our employees and communities during these uncertain times.”