Minister Bibeau announces significant boost to Lac-Saint-Jean’s dairy processors in Quebec

News release

July 8, 2021 – Saint Gédéon, Quebec – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced investments totalling over $4.5 million to three projects that will help boost production for Quebec dairy processors in the region of Lac-Saint-Jean.

Minister Bibeau made the announcement at Fromagerie Médard in Saint Gédéon, which is receiving up to $969,000 through the Dairy Processing Investment Fund (DPIF) and up to $1,000,000 through Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED) for new equipment to increase productivity and reduce production costs. By 2025, it is expected that this funding will create an additional two jobs, and increase the milk used in the production process by 74 percent.

Nutrinor Cooperative also benefitted from the DPIF, receiving up to $395,000 to purchase an Ultra Filtration system. The project will allow the cooperative to increase its production of liquid dairy protein concentrate, increase its quantity of processed milk, and increase the yield of the cheese factories they supply. By 2023, it’s expected that the funding will create an additional five jobs and increase the milk used in the production process by 48 percent. This builds on the $293,000 DPIF investment made in 2019 to extend the shelf life of products and reduce production costs.

Minister Bibeau also announced an investment to Fromagerie Boivin, which is receiving up to $1,340,000 through the DPIF for new equipment to increase production and up to $800,000 through Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions to expand their building and acquire strategic equipment to optimize the production of processed cheese and modernize the packaging line. The project will provide more space so that employees can practice physical distancing.

Dairy processors are an integral part of Canada’s rural landscape, and ensure vibrant and strong communities in Quebec and across the country. As key economic drivers for many of our rural areas, the Government is investing to help ensure our dairy processors remain well-positioned for future growth.

Quotes

“The dairy, poultry and egg sectors are essential to the vitality of our rural communities. This investment program is helping to modernize our dairy processors and increase demand for Canadian milk. With the direct payments and other programs recently deployed, our government is honouring its commitment to our supply-managed producers and processors for the recently signed free-trade agreements and reiterating its firm commitment to not give up any more market share in future trade negotiations.”

- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“Our government has been investing in the agri-food industry for a long time, particularly in the promotion and enhancement of businesses and their products. Our investments announced today for Fromagerie Boivin and Fromagerie Médard are part of our recovery plan and will support the economic development of the regions, like here in Saguenay‒Lac-Saint-Jean.”

- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, MP for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CED

“The story of Fromagerie Médard is one of family and artisans who are passionate about the land and their craft. This grant will give us wings in the coming years.”

- Justine Boivin-Côté and Rose-Alice Boivin-Côté, Owners, Fromagerie Médard

“This investment will help us acquire state-of-the-art equipment that will allow Nutrinor to produce liquid milk protein concentrate, be even more competitive in the market and increase the milk processing capacity of our member producers here in our region at the Alma plant.”

- Luc Belley, Vice President, Operations, Agri-Food Sector, Nutrinor

Quick facts

  • The Dairy Processing Investment Fund, valued at $100 million, is designed to help dairy processors modernize their operations, improving productivity and competitiveness.

  • Budget 2021 proposes to invest a further $292.5 million over seven years to help all supply-managed processors, including poultry and egg processors, invest to keep their plants on the cutting edge.

  • Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions provides funding and support to Quebec businesses and regions. They focus their interventions on Small and medium-sized enterprises and non-profit economic organizations.

  • Fromagerie Médard, whose legal name is Ferme Domaine de la Rivière, is located in Saint-Gédéon, Quebec, Canada, and is part of the Dairy Products Manufacturing Industry.

  • Nutrinor Cooperative, located in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, is one of the largest food cooperatives in Quebec. It has over 936 members and is involved in agri-food, agriculture, hardware stores and energy.

  • Fromagerie Boivin processes approximately 20 million litres of milk needed to produce 2.3 million kilograms of cheese. It provides full-time employment to 85 people.

  • The Canadian dairy sector is a vital pillar of rural communities and a key driver of the economy. There are 10,095 dairy farms in Canada supporting approximately 19,000 direct jobs. The demand for Canadian dairy remains strong, and has led to a 10% increase in raw milk production in the last five years, with over $7 billion in farm cash receipts in 2020.

  • There are over 500 dairy processors in Canada. In total, they generated close to $17 billion in sales in 2020, and support more than 25,000 direct jobs. When accounting for both direct and indirect employment, the dairy processing sector supports close to 211,000 jobs.

Associated links

Contacts

Oliver Anderson
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
oliver.anderson@agr.gc.ca
613-462-4327

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972
aafc.mediarelations-relationsmedias.aac@agr.gc.ca
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