The federal government has announced an investment of $376,668 to develop a Cheese Expertise Centre and for two projects to support the ability of Quebec cheese processors to continue to innovate and compete in the market. The announcement was made during the Conseil des industriels laitiers du Québec’s annual general meeting.
“With the assistance provided by Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC), the Cheese Expertise Center will strengthen its expertise in the dairy sector for Canada as a whole by reducing reliance on foreign expertise,” said Pascal-André Brisson, chairman of the board of directors of the Cheese Expertise Centre. “Our organization will continue its efforts of a highly competitive calibre in support of the Canadian dairy sector. In addition, this is a golden opportunity for the Canadian cheese industry to move toward promising technologies and thus ensure that we are competitive.”
With the investment made under the Dairy Processing Investment Fund, the Cheese Expertise Centre will create a database of standardized production processes for artisanal cheese makers across Canada, and develop a series of technical cheese making training seminars.
To date, 26 dairy processors in Quebec have been approved for funding valued at over $17.4 million under the $100-million Dairy Processing Investment Fund. Canada’s dairy sector is also supported by the associated Dairy Farm Investment Program has approved over 1900 projects for funding support valued at over $128 million, including over 870 projects and over $49 million in Quebec with projects from small investments in cow comfort equipment to large ones for automated milking systems.