Ontario dairy co-op Gay Lea Foods and BC-based dairy ingredient supplier Vitalus Nutrition have announced a joint investment in dairy processing in Manitoba.
The joint venture’s plans include upgrading an existing food processing plant in Winnipeg, which will increase drying capacity in Western Canada and expand butter production.
“Gay Lea Foods is excited by the opportunities that the joint venture brings to both the Co-operative and Canadian dairy, through increased processing capacity for ingredients and butter while extending our open membership to farmers in Manitoba,” said Gay Lea’s president and CEO Michael Barrett, in a news release on Monday.
Dairy Farmers of Manitoba will supply raw milk to the facility. As Barrett referenced, Manitoba milk producers will also be given the opportunity to become Gay Lea co-op members.
“This new opportunity and our commitment to working together to increase processing capacity in Manitoba will help ensure the continued sustainability of the Canadian dairy industry today and for future generations,” responded David Wiens, chair of Dairy Farmers of Manitoba.
Vitalus supplies dairy ingredients to the food, beverage and nutraceutical industries, with products used in baking, confections, snack foods, infant formula, protein drinks, and nutrition bars. Owned by 1,300-plus Ontario dairy farms, Gay Lea is Canada’s second largest dairy co-operative, with processing, production and distribution facilities in Ontario and Quebec.