Cheese­maker to use fed­eral money to con­tinue ex­pand­ing

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - News

BY TARA MAC­DON­ALD

Staff Glen­garry-Prescott-Rus­sell MP Frances Drouin vis­ited Glen­garry Cheese­mak­ing Inc. last week to an­nounce an in­vest­ment of $162,833 that will help the Lan­caster busi­ness con­tinue to grow.

The grant, part of the Dairy Pro­cess­ing In­vest­ment Fund, will help the com­pany com­plete its $918,082 ex­pan­sion project at the fa­cil­ity at 5926 County Road 34. The project will the in­crease volume of cow and goat milk used in pro­duc­tion, stream­line and op­ti­mize pro­cess­ing for in­creased cheese pro­duc­tion while in­creas­ing im­prov­ing, re­duc­ing pro­duc­tion costs, cre­ate two new dairy prod­ucts and add three jobs.

“To be rec­og­nized and sup­ported by our govern­ment with this grant fund­ing is a won­der­ful ac­knowl­edge­ment for the busi­ness and in turn our com­mu­nity,” said Mar­garet Peters-Mor­ris, owner of Glen­garry Cheese­mak­ing Inc.

Stor­mont- Dun­das- Glen­garry War­den Jamie Mac­Don­ald agreed. “It’s great to see the fed­eral govern­ment put some money be­hind these small busi­nesses and help pro­mote food tourism,” said the North Glen­garry mayor, who com­mented on in­dus­try ad­vances, the abil­ity to in­crease lo­cal job op­por­tu­ni­ties and the en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit of lo­cal farm-to-ta­ble food ar­ti­sans. “Agri-food tourism is one of those niche in­dus­tries that a lot of ar­eas are try­ing to pro­mote. Here in Glen­garry we have Glen­garry Fine Cheese, Stone­house Vine­yards, Wood Broth­ers Brew­ing, and the list con­tin­ues to grow.”

The Dairy Pro­cess­ing In­vest­ment Fund, val­ued at $100 mil­lion, was es­tab­lished to pro­vide fund­ing to dairy pro­ces­sors to mod­ern­ize their op­er­a­tions and im­prove pro­duc­tiv­ity and com­pet­i­tive­ness while help­ing them pre­pare for mar­ket changes re­sult­ing from the Canada-Euro­pean Union Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic and Trade Agree­ment (CETA).

“The dairy in­dus­try con­trib­utes greatly to the eco­nomic health of this part of our coun­try,” said Mr. Drouin. “Through the Dairy Pro­cess­ing In­vest­ment Fund, the Govern­ment of Canada is of­fer­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to small busi­nesses – such as Glen­garry Cheese­mak­ing Inc. - to grow and con­trib­ute to the pros­per­ity of our re­gion.”

“We have our brand es­tab­lished now, the cheese has achieved many pres­ti­gious do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional awards and is known to be that of high-qual­ity con­sis­tent prod­uct,” said Ms. Peter­sMor­ris. “This is go­ing from an ar­ti­san plan to some­thing larger; it will lit­er­ally dou­ble the busi­ness we’re al­ready do­ing,” she beamed. “Noth­ing’s hold­ing us back now.”

“High-qual­ity” is an un­der­state­ment. For many years now, Ms. Peters-Mor­ris and her team have been pro­duc­ing some of the finest cheese in the world and have brought Glen­garry ac­co­lades through­out North Amer­ica and Europe with her Aged Lankaaster Loaf and Celtic Blue cheeses.

Es­tab­lished in 2004, Glen­garry Cheese Mak­ing Inc.’s Aged Lankaaster Loaf was crowned cham­pion in the semi-firm cat­e­gory at the Dairy Farm­ers of Canada 2011 Grand Prix and won first prize at the Amer­i­can Cheese So­ci­ety awards for best Amer­i­can Made/In­ter­na­tional Style-Dutch Style cat­e­gory. That year, the famed Lankaaster cheese went on to win Grand Cham­pion Va­ri­ety Cheese at the 2011 Royal Agri­cul­tural Win­ter Fair in Toronto be­fore hit­ting the world stage as Supreme Global Cham­pion at the Global Cheese Awards in Som­er­set, Eng­land in 2013 be­com­ing the first Cana­dian com­pany to win this award in the com­pe­ti­tion's 153-year his­tory.

De­spite its na­tional and in­ter­na­tional suc­cess, the small fac­tory was un­able to reach fed­eral li­cens­ing stan­dards which would en­able it to ex­pand its mar­ket out­side of On­tario.

New equip­ment, new mar­kets

With the help of the Dairy Pro­cess­ing In­vest­ment Fund, the firm will in­stall new au­to­mated brin­ing equip­ment al­low­ing for the pro­duc­tion of but­ter and ice cream. Most notably, the com­pany will be also sup­ported in the pur­chase of a stain­less-steel lift thereby fulling the re­quire­ments for a fed­eral pro­cess­ing li­cence and open­ing the door to in­ter­provin­cial mar­kets.

“That’s my goal – to go fed­eral. We’ll be able to sell any­where we want now,” said Ms. Peters-Mor­ris who ex­pects the project to be com­pleted by the end of this sum­mer.

While Ms. Peters-Mor­ris plans to fo­cus her ini­tial ef­forts on Al­berta, British Columbia and Que­bec, the li­cence will also en­able the cheese­maker to sell its cheeses in the United States, Europe, and be­yond.

“Af­ter ten years in the fine cheese sec­tor, we would like and need to meet our new mar­ket op­por­tu­ni­ties within Canada and the USA,” said Ms. Peters-Mor­ris. “We would also like to pur­sue our ex­port op­por­tu­ni­ties and par­tic­i­pate in fur­ther in­ter­na­tional trade when our li­cence is broad­ened to fed­eral stan­dard.”

TARA MAC­DON­ALD PHOTO

BIG­GER SLICE OF THE MAR­KET: War­den Jamie Mac­Don­ald, MP Francis Drouin, Mar­garet Peters-Mor­ris, and South Glen­garry Mayor Frank Prevost have rea­son to smile. Glen­garry Cheese­mak­ing Inc. will ex­pand its fa­cil­ity and cre­ate jobs as it con­tin­ues to carve out a large chunk of the mar­ket.

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