The federal government is investing more than half a million dollars to upgrade operations at two regional dairies. Courtenay, B.C.-based Natural Pastures Cheese will receive a repayable contribution of more than $624,000, while Markdale, Ont.’s Saugeen Country Dairy Ltd. will receive more than $70,000.
Natural Pastures Cheese, a producer of award-winning artisan cheese, will use the funds to update its processing facility with new processing and packaging equipment. The company anticipates that the upgrades will help improve cheese production, which in turn will create new jobs and increase milk demand for B.C. farmers.
In Ontario, Saugeen Country Dairy, an organic yogurt producer, will use the funding to purchase new filling, sealing and ink jet coding equipment in order to increase production capacity. The company also expects to increase its use of local milk. “By helping us to maintain and expand our business, the government of Canada supports small-scale food processing in rural Ontario,” says Johannes Schneider, co-owner of Saugeen Country Dairy.
Both loans are through the AgriFlexibility Fund and the AgriProcessing Initiative, a five-year, $50-million program designed to improve the competitiveness of Canada’s food processing sector.