Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is providing C$1.8m (US$1.4m) of the award to Cows under the Dairy Processing Investment Fund (DPIF).
DPIF is a government initiative designed “to provide funding to dairy processors for investments that will improve productivity and competitiveness, and help them prepare to market changes resulting from the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).”
Bolstering the economy
Cows is the fourteenth dairy processor to be approved for funding support under the C$20m (US$15.3m) DPIF fund. The support covers several different projects through capital investment and access to expertise.
Applicants can receive upgrades to equipment and infrastructure, improve manufacturing technologies and processes and modernize, construct or expand dairy processing establishments.
The remaining C$800,000 (US$612,000) will come from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), a separate agency that helps create economic growth opportunities in Atlantic Canada by assisting businesses.
The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and Member of Parliament Sean Casey of Charlottetown announced the joint investment on August 30. As a part of the 'Growing Canadian Agriculture' tour, Minister MacAulay is meeting with farmers, processors and industry leaders across the country to collaborate on new growth opportunities for the sector.
"Dairy processors are making significant investments in innovation and cutting-edge technology to help improve their efficiency and competitiveness, key ingredients for growth. This investment will help Cows deliver more of their award-winning cheeses and dairy products to consumers in Canada and abroad, which will help grow our economy and create well-paying jobs," said Minister MacAulay.
A ‘solid foundation’ for growth
Cows was founded in Cavendish, PEI, in 1983. It began as an ice cream parlor and now produces chocolate, cheese, butter and ice cream, with 12 parlor locations in Canada. It entered the Canadian cheese market in 2007 with Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar, Extra Old Cheddar and Appletree Smoked Cheddar.
The dairy brand is currently undergoing an expansion project that is expected to result in the creation of 15 new jobs by 2023. The new investment will help Cows grow its processing capacity to introduce new types of cheese and butter, elevating Canada’s international reputation in cheese making.
Chad Heron, vice president of Cows, said "This funding [is] a tremendous opportunity for Cows to capitalize on recent growth and award wins … This will allow Cows to fulfill larger and more frequent orders with increased efficiency, while also setting a solid foundation for continued growth of new products and customers."
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister responsible for the ACOA, said "Funding of projects like this highlights the Government of Canada's commitment to supporting businesses and bringing new opportunities for economic growth to the Atlantic region. This project will improve Cows’ competitiveness, productivity and market development to benefit the dairy industry and all Canadians."