Gay Lea investing in dairy innovation
Gay Lea Foods Co-operative is investing $140 million over four years to establish an innovative dairy ingredients hub in Canada
Mississauga, Ont.-based Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited has announced an investment of $140 million over four years to establish an innovative nutrition and nutraceutical-grade dairy ingredients hub in Canada.
This investment delivers on Gay Lea’s mission to transform more Canadian milk by building an “innovative and market-driven ingredients business” that caters to customer needs, according to a Gay Lea press release.
“As a dairy farmer and co-operative member owner, I am excited that Gay Lea Foods is driving growth through innovation and the development of new markets that will increase demand for milk from Canadian dairy farms. I am also proud that Gay Lea Foods is once again leading the way by demonstrating that rural Ontario is capable of world class innovation and food manufacturing,” says Steve Dolson, Chair, Gay Lea Foods.
Phase one of this project is expected to begin in early 2017, with a $60-million expansion plan in the village of Teeswater in Bruce County, Ont. Phase one will also include a $3-million investment to build a Research & Development Centre of Excellence in Hamilton, Ont. This working laboratory and innovation incubator will be “the nexus between R&D and commercialization throughout Gay Lea Foods’ operations,” and will also service Gay Lea’s partners in the dairy, food and health sectors.
The first phase also includes upgrades and expansion at Gay Lea’s Toronto area food manufacturing facilities to increase the company’s capabilities and competitiveness, improving cost efficiencies, while also working to reduce its overall environmental footprint.
“Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) congratulates and supports Gay Lea Foods in their continued commitment to growing Ontario dairy, through the construction of new, state-of-the-art processing capacity and R&D Centre, to expand markets for Canadian dairy products and ingredients,” says Ralph Dietrich, chair, Dairy Farmers of Ontario.
“Gay Lea Foods is motivated to shape the Canadian dairy industry of tomorrow while nourishing our farmer-owned co-operative today. Our co-operative is proving that successful and continuous growth as a wholly owned and operating Canadian dairy and food processor is possible,” adds Michael Barrett, president and CEO, Gay Lea Foods. “We are pleased to contribute to a growing Canadian economy, creating middle class jobs while sustaining our local communities.”