Following last week’s announcement of funding for three Canadian dairy processors in Quebec, three projects in the Eastern Townships and Centre-du-Québec have been given financial assistance totaling C$535,000 (US$419,330).
An investment of up to C$222,975 (US$174,766) to Les Fromages Latino Inc. in Val-des-Sources is to support the installation of a new refrigerator system, a cream separator, cheese-making equipment, and a packaging line. This investment is expected to create up to four new jobs, and will help the company increase production to meet demand in its market, decrease costs, and triple its milk use by 2024.
"Thanks to the financial support of the Canadian government, we will be able to offer locally produced Latin American cheeses to even more consumers across Canada. This is what motivates us and our entire team to surpass ourselves day after day,” said Isabel Cristina Correa, co-owner of Fromages Latino Inc., which produces 11 varieties of firm and semi-firm Latin American cheeses under the brand name Rumba, as well as fruit-flavored yogurt drinks and cream.
La Fromagerie du Presbytère in Ste-Elizabeth-de-Warwick will receive up to C$230,440 (US$180,617) for the purchase of new production and packaging equipment, along with cold room equipment. The project will lower production costs while increasing efficiency, and enhance the site's agritourism offerings. By 2023, it is expected the funding will allow the business to double the amount of milk used for cheese production.
La Fromagerie du Presbytère specializes in the production of fine cheeses from heat-treated or pasteurized raw milk from cows fed on organic feed.
Also, up to C$83,552 (US$65,487) is being earmarked for certified organic and artisanal cheesemaker Fromagerie La Station Inc., located in Compton, for the purchase and installation of an automated cutting system, a packaging machine, and the installation of a cold room for cheese preservation. The funding will reduce production costs and enable the company to quintuple its milk use by 2024. The announcement builds on previous Dairy Processing Investment Fund (DPIF) funding of C$910,355 (US$713,563) for La Station to automate its cheese maturation processes.
The investments are made through the DPIFm which is valued at C$100m (US$78.4m), and is intended to help dairy processors modernize operations to improve productivity and competitiveness.
The Canadian government budget 2021 committed a further C$292.5m (US$229.3m) over seven years to help all supply-managed processors, including poultry and egg processors, invest to keep their plants on the cutting edge.
There are more than 500 dairy processors in Canada. In total, they generated close to C$17bn (US$13.3bn) in sales in 2020, and support more than 25,000 direct jobs. When accounting for both direct and indirect employment, the dairy processing sector supports close to 211,000 jobs.