Ontario’s Local Food Fund supports Mariposa Dairy
Having already begun work to realize expansion plans, the timing of $500,000 from the Ontario Local Food Fund couldn’t have been better for Mariposa Dairy owner Bruce Vanderberg.
The funding was recently announced by Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Jeff Leal. The Lindsay-based cheese maker is one of nine agri-food businesses in the Eastern Region to receive funding to support innovative food projects that increase demand and sales of Ontario food, stimulate new investment and strengthen Ontario’s agri-food sector.
Mariposa Dairy is receiving $500,000, which Mr. Vandenberg said will go towards the company’s $5.5 million expansion project.
In March, the packaging lines are expected to move into a new 4,200 square foot facility on St. George Street, with the processing side following in 2016. State-of-the-art equipment is needed for the new facility to accommodate rising packaging volumes – expansion into overseas markets is helping triple Mariposa Dairy’s production – meet Europe’s strict quality control standards, find efficiencies in reduced water use and handle the more “tedious” work at the plant.
Developing the facility will have spin off effects. It will boost technical jobs and the need for professionally trained staff, but, more importantly, the supply chain will be impacted. The increased demand for goat milk – expected to be roughly 23 million litres a year – has the potential to create up to 150 new jobs.