Canadian dairy cooperative Gay Lea Foods and local dairy ingredients supplier Vitalus Nutrition have entered into a joint venture to process dairy ingredients and butter in the country.

Included in the joint venture initiatives are plans to upgrade and modernise an existing food manufacturing plant in Manitoba. The companies say the venture will create new demand for skilled labour in the region, as it boosts butter production to respond to market demands.

The joint venture will also provide a new market opportunity for milk from Manitoba’s dairy farms, as Dairy Farmers of Manitoba, which is financed by all dairy farmers in the province, will be supplying the raw milk for the new facility. 

Dairy Farmers of Manitoba is responsible for managing the supply of milk in Manitoba, representing the interests of the province’s dairy farmers and implementing promotional and educational programmes. Dairy farmers will be given the opportunity to join Gay Lea Foods as member-owners.

Michael Barrett, president and CEO of Gay Lea Foods, said his company is “excited by the opportunities that the joint venture brings to both the Co-operative and Canadian dairy”.

Vitalus Nutrition president Philip Vanderpol added: “Vitalus is pleased to partner with Gay Lea Foods and Dairy Farmers of Manitoba to increase much needed drying capacity while further developing the dairy ingredients industry, adding growth and new market opportunities for Canadian dairy.”