Ont. backs dairy to boost cream cheese output

A southeastern Ontario dairy processor has picked up public funds for new equipment to make cream cheese bars that’ll take another seven million litres of milk from the province’s goats and cows.

Skotidakis Goat Farm, based at St. Eugene, about 70 km west of Montreal, will get $350,000 for its expansion project from the Ontario government’s Rural Economic Development program.

The money will go toward buying and installing fully automatic multi-size filling and wrapping equipment at the company’s processing plant, and production and testing of Skotidakis’ new cream cheese bars.

According to the province, the expansion will add 10 jobs to the 45 already in place at the plant and allow Skotidakis to make 30,000 cases of private-label cream cheese bars for an unnamed “major grocery chain” operating in Ontario and Quebec.

That, in turn, will mean Skotidakis must source another seven million litres of milk from Ontario cow and goat dairy producers.

“The Skotidakis Goat Farm has a clear and timely opportunity to grow exponentially,” area MPP Jean-Marc Lalonde said in a release Friday.

Skotidakis started with 20 dairy goats in 1975, making feta for the Montreal market, spurring demand that led the farm to expand its goat herd to over 3,000 head.

The family-run company now processes about 15 million litres of milk per year, making feta, ricotta, pressed yogurt, vegetable dips, tzatziki and sour cream for markets across Canada and in “various parts” of the U.S.

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