Federal government invests $1.8 million in PEI cheesemaker to expand product line and grow markets

Press Release

The dairy sector is an important contributor to Canada’s economy, contributing $20.9 billion through sales by farmers and food processors. The Government of Canada knows the importance of supporting a strong and competitive dairy industry that will ensure Canadian families continue to benefit from high-quality products while creating well-paying jobs for Canadians.

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, along with Member of Parliament Sean Casey (Charlottetown), today announced an investment of up to $1.8 million to COWS Inc. under the Dairy Processing Investment Fund, and an additional $800 thousand from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. This funding will enable the cheese processor to expand its processing capacity to introduce new types of cheese and butter, bringing further international recognition to Canadian cheese making.

“Dairy processors are making significant investments in innovation and cutting-edge technology to help improve their efficiency and competitiveness, key ingredients for growth,” saidMacAulay. “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.”

COWS’ creamery expansion will lead to greater demand for milk from PEI dairy producers, improved processing capacity, lower production costs and product certification.

Today’s announcement is part of MacAulay’s Growing Canadian Agriculture tour, where he will meet with farmers, processors and industry leaders, as well as participate in rural agricultural events across the country, to hear ideas on how to capture new growth opportunities for the sector.

“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,” said Navdeep Bains, the minister of innovation, science and economic development. “This project will improve COWS’ competitiveness, productivity and market development to benefit the dairy industry and all Canadians.”

Quick Facts

  • COWS Inc., founded in 1983 in Cavendish, PEI, makes ice cream, chocolate and butter, in addition to running ice cream parlours. In 2007, they entered the Canadian cheese market with three award-winning cheeses: Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar, Extra Old Cheddar, and Appletree Smoked Cheddar. The current expansion project is expected to result in the creation of 15 new jobs by 2023.
  • To date, 14 dairy processors have been approved for funding support under the Dairy Processing Investment Fund valued at over $20 million, in a wide array of projects from small investments in cheese, milk drying, yogurt, cream and butter projects.
  • Canada’s dairy sector is also supported by the associated Dairy Farm Investment Program. To date, over 1,800 dairy producers have been approved for funding support valued at over $114 million (as of August 29, 2018), in a wide array of projects from small investments in cow comfort equipment to large ones for automated milking systems.

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SOURCE Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada