SALT SPRING ISLAND, BC – Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau announced an investment of more than $1.2 million to support the dairy industry in British Columbia. The announcement comes after the Minister toured Salt Spring Island Cheese Company, a growing cheese processing facility, on Saturday, July 6.
Thirteen on-farm projects, totaling $853,901, were highlighted in support of cow’s milk producers on Vancouver Island under the Dairy Farm Investment Program. Funded projects include the adoption of robotic milkers, automated feeding systems, herd management tools, and cow comfort equipment.
Two more projects, totaling $379,740, were also highlighted under the Dairy Processing Investment Fund. This funding includes $114,440 to Salt Spring Island Cheese Company for new production and packaging equipment and a new pasteurizer. This will allow the processor to increase production and automate processes. Furthermore, an investment of $265,300 will support Natural Pastures Cheese Company for the purchase and installation of new manufacturing equipment to increase capacity and efficiency in cheese production and packaging.
The Dairy Farm Investment Program provides funding to dairy farmers for targeted investments in farm technologies and upgrades to barn equipment. The Dairy Processing Investment Fund provides dairy processors non-repayable contributions to support projects through capital investment or access to expertise. Both programs support the industry to adapt to anticipated impacts from the Canada – European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
“Our government is committed to helping dairy farmers and processors become more competitive, by integrating the latest technologies, equipment and expertise to improve their operations. These investments will help grow the industry in British Columbia and across Canada, while creating good jobs for our middle class.”
– Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
- The Dairy Farm Investment Program is a $250 million, five-year federal investment, launched on August 1, 2017.
- Under Phase II of the program, over $98 million has been approved across Canada, with $1.74 million in British Columbia.
- The Dairy Processing Investment Fund, valued at $100 million, is designed to help dairy processors modernize their operations, improving productivity and competitiveness.
- Canada has more than 478 dairy processors that generate $14.3 billion in sales and create more than estimated 42,222 jobs.