Mississauga, Ont.-based Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd. has introduced two new initiatives that are expected to help grow and strengthen Ontario’s burgeoning goat industry.
At the Gay Lea Foods’ Annual Meeting, delegates approved by-law changes to expand the open membership to include dairy goat producers as producer members of the co-operative. Gay Lea has also made a further investment in goat processing with the purchase of a minority share in Lindsay, Ont.’s Mariposa Dairy Ltd., a successful goat cheese producer.
“As a Canadian dairy co-operative, Gay Lea Foods has been committed to working closely with Ontario dairy goat producers to build an innovative, growing, and prosperous goat industry. I am pleased to announce that delegates have approved new by-laws, offering Ontario dairy goat producers the opportunity to become a member of the co-operative, empowering them with a voice on the dairy goat industry from farm to processing,” says Paul Vickers, Gay Lea’s Chair of the Board. “As producer members of the Co-operative they will also benefit from the co-operative principles that underpin our goat strategy, including voluntary and open membership, education and training, and concern for community.”
In addition to the goat milk processing that Gay Lea Foods is already doing under its own brands, a Gay Lea press release explains that these moves also further demonstrate Gay Lea Foods’ commitment to being an active investor and partner in developing the dairy goat value chain in Ontario.
“As a dairy co-operative, Gay Lea Foods is well positioned to understand both the goat farming priorities and the need for development of innovative, high quality and safe products to meet the tremendous demand and market opportunities for goat milk products. Welcoming new dairy goat producer members and the investment in Mariposa Dairy Ltd. further strengthen the position of Ontario agri-food as a leader in both domestic and international markets,” says Michael Barrett, Gay Lea’s president and CEO.