July 24, 2019 –Teeswater, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Today, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food,
visited Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd. (Gay Lea Foods) to announce an investment
of up to $16.9 million through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern
Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Dairy Processing
Investment Fund (DPIF). With this funding, Gay Lea Foods is expanding its Teeswater,
Ontario facility with modern equipment to improve productivity and competitiveness.
FedDev Ontario's investment of $10 million will support the acquisition and installation
of advanced processing equipment and systems. This will allow Gay Lea Foods to advance
its scientific and technical capability to produce new, high value milk products,
particularly for the health food and nutraceutical markets. This investment will
accelerate growth by supporting product and market diversification, and increase
production to capitalize on market expansion opportunities.
Funding of $6.9 million through the DPIF will allow Gay Lea Foods to adopt innovative
processes and equipment to minimize by-product waste and reduce the plant's environmental
footprint. The project will also provide additional capacity, and as such the co-operative
will use more high-quality milk from Ontario's dairy farmers in the making of their
The combined investment will create approximately 13 new skilled jobs and help to
maintain 50 at the Teeswater facility.
This project aligns with the Government of Canada's recently announced Rural Economic
Development Strategy, plan for stronger collaboration and long-term strategic investments
to respond to the unique needs of rural communities.
"Our Government is proud to support Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd. to help the
company to further develop new product lines, reduce their environmental footprint,
while also creating good middle class jobs for Ontarians." - The Honourable Marie-Claude
Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
"Today's investment in Gay Lea Foods will help strengthen the important agri-food
sector here in rural southern Ontario, while creating and maintaining good jobs
for Canadians." - The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science
and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario
"Gay Lea Foods has been steadily growing a sustainable co-operative while being
a preferred partner in Canadian dairy, food and beverage processing. The investment
in our Teeswater facility is one of many investments we have committed over the
last five years for not only our co-operative, but Canadian dairy farmers and a
prosperous future for Canadian dairy." - Rob Goodwill, Chair of the Board, Gay Lea
Foods Co-operative Ltd.
"The modernization of our Teeswater facility is proof that with the right tools
and partners, innovation and advanced manufacturing is possible in rural communities.
It is also a great example of progress and adaptation in Canadian dairy, as the
site of Canada's oldest creamery is now home to the creation of value-added products
to serve new market opportunities." - Michael Barrett, President and Chief Executive
Officer, Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd.
- Gay Lea Foods Cooperative Ltd. has been in operation as a Canadian owned co-operative
for 60 years with over 4,300 producer and investor shareholders on 1,400 dairy farms
in Ontario and Manitoba. Gay Lea Foods is the first to include licensed dairy cow
and dairy goat members, processing both kinds of milk into a range of products
- The Dairy Processing Investment Fund (DPIF) was established to provide non-repayable
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). To date, 32 dairy processors
have been approved for funding valued at over $34.7 million for a wide array of
cheese, yogurt, cream and butter projects.
- FedDev Ontario supports innovation and growth in southern Ontario. The Business
Scale-Up and Productivity initiative helps to accelerate the growth of firms and
with the adoption of new, innovative technologies that support scale-up, productivity,
and entry into new markets to help companies become globally competitive
- Canada's dairy sector is also supported by the associated Dairy Farm Investment
Program. To date, 1,900 dairy projects have been approved for funding support valued
at $129 million, in a wide array of projects from small investments in cow comfort
equipment to large ones for automated milking systems.
- The dairy sector plays an important role in Canada's economy, contributing $20.9
billion through sales by farmers and food processors. In Ontario, more than 150
dairy processors generate $6 billion in sales and employs more than 8,600 people.
- This year marks 10 years of FedDev Ontario delivering funding and business services
to support innovation and growth in southern Ontario.