Kingston baby formula plant secures goat milk supply in new agreement


Chinese-owned Canada Royal Milk (CRM), based at Kingston, Ont., says it has established long-term partnerships with Ontario Goat Dairy Cooperative (ODGC) and Producteurs de lait de chèvre du Québec (PLCQ) who represent over 120 goat dairy farms between them.

When the baby formula plant was first announced in 2017 by Feihe International, the plant was originally being promoted as a goat-milk based production facility. However, since beginning operations, the plant has been using cow’s milk.

This commitment by Canada Royal Milk, and in working with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation), will result in significant growth of the dairy goat sector, the company says.

Canada Royal Milk began processing goat’s milk in its facility in March, 2022.

“The partnerships with ODGC and PLCQ marks a significant milestone for CRM, enabling the growth of commercial goat milk powder production, utilization of both production lines and expansion of the workforce. With establishing long-term partnerships, CRM is well placed to capitalize on favourable market trends in goat dairy,” the company says in a release. “Goat milk is the most common milk consumed worldwide and it is becoming recognized as an important part of nutrition and health. It is anticipated that demand for goat milk products will increase rapidly in China and across Asia.”

Over the next five years, the company says they will support the growing demand of goat milk, ensuring local producers have a secure and stable market.

“The expansion of goat dairy is an industry-led initiative by our partners at ODGC and PLCQ. As a partner in growth, Canada Royal Milk hopes to contribute to a vibrant Canadian goat dairy industry,” says Chenggang Han, CRM’s general manager. “We look forward to many years of collaboration with goat milk producers, working in-step to expand markets for high-quality powdered goat milk products.”

The plant will continue with cow-based milk production, as well.

Canada Royal Milk currently has 160 full-time employees, and is actively recruiting for full-time positions across departments, it says. The full implementation of the goat-milk line will bring the workforce total to over 220 full-time employees.

“We are excited to see the company with both lines of cow and goat diary in commercial production. This brings increased local jobs and a significant economic impact on the city and surrounding rural areas.  The partnerships with the goat dairy producers and industry groups supports our farmers and the rural economy of our region,” says Donna Gillespie, CEO, Kingston Economic Development Corporation. Canada Royal Milk with work with producers, processors and industry partners to grow Canadian Goat Dairy.

Powdered goat milk has a longer shelf life than other goat dairy products, allowing the plant to accept and process excess milk year-round, the company says. “ODGC supplies milk to processors throughout Ontario and Quebec, most of which are master cheese makers”, says René Zoller, chair of Ontario Dairy Goat Co-operative.  “One of the most exciting things about the partnership with CRM and collaboration with PLCQ is the opportunity it provides for producers. CRM makes a different product with the milk, and more products means more stability for the industry and possibility for innovation.”

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