Ont. goats’-milk cheesemaker picks up more funding

A second provincial economic development program has backed renovation and retooling at an eastern Ontario goats’-milk dairy processor.

Mariposa Dairy Ltd., based at Lindsay, about 40 km west of Peterborough, will get $208,000 from the province’s Rural Economic Development Program for expansion work with which the company expects to create “up to 21” new jobs.

The work involves “refurbishing and modernizing (Mariposa’s) existing food processing facility to accommodate more packaging flexibility, higher processing speeds, and better materials handling capacity,” which in turn will help the company expand its production line of goat cheeses to meet “growing demand.”

“Mariposa Dairy is a great example of bringing together producing and processing to make a strong and successful business,” local MPP Rick Johnson said in the province’s release Monday.

“This investment is good news for Lindsay because it’s creating jobs, supporting a local producer, and supporting local farmers.”

The company last fall picked up $172,600 from the province’s Eastern Ontario Development Fund, toward renovation work to “automate its manufacturing process, develop new products, upgrade workers’ skills, and expand its market reach,” creating up to 11 jobs.

Mariposa employs over 50 people making chevre, a soft goat cheese, for grocery chains such as Loblaws and for food service companies across Canada and the Eastern Seaboard, the province said.

Mariposa, which in 2007 won a Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence, was credited at the time with expanding goat milk production in Ontario.

The company began developing flavoured cheeses, such as cinnamon and cranberry, in 2003, and went on to enter the U.S. market in 2005. The Lindsay plant got HACCP certification in 2008.

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