Government of Canada helps Quebec specialty-cheese producer modernize

From: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

January 15, 2019 – Saint-Benoît-du-Lac, Quebec – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The dairy sector plays a vital role in Canada’s economy, contributing $20.9 billion through sales by farmers and food processors, including over $7 billion in Quebec. The Government of Canada knows the importance of supporting a strong and competitive dairy sector, to ensure Canadian families continue to benefit from high-quality products while creating well-paying jobs.

Minister of International Development and Member for Parliament of Compton—Stanstead Marie-Claude Bibeau, along with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Member of Parliament for La Prairie Jean-Claude Poissant, on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay, today announced an investment of over $1.6 million under the Dairy Processing Investment Fund to La Corporation des Moines Bénédictins (Fromagerie de Saint-Benoît-du-Lac).

This project enabled the award-winning Fromagerie de Saint-Benoît-du-Lac to purchase and install modern automation equipment in its new plant, leading to lower operation costs, increased production, higher demand of milk and job creation.

“Our Government proudly supports the modernization and competitiveness of the dairy processing industry. This funding will help the Fromagerie de Saint-Benoît-du-Lac boost their production of award-winning, specialty-cheese and increase milk inputs from this region’s dairy farmers to benefit our economy.”

– Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and Member of Parliament for Compton—Stanstead

“Quebec’s dairy sector – especially cheese making – has grown significantly in the last 10 years. The investment announced today is one of the many examples of our Government working hand in hand with dairy farmers and processors to foster growth and competitiveness of the sector. The Government of Canada is proud to support projects like this that help processors in this region modernize and improve competitiveness, to ensure the sector remains strong and creates more, well-paying jobs.”

– Jean-Claude Poissant, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food and Member of Parliament for La Prairie

“The Saint-Benoît-du-Lac Abbey is well-known in the Eastern Townships. With its beautiful architectural elements and magnificent site, where visitors can enjoy the surrounding landscape, the monastery attracts many visitors and tourists to the region. Cheese production is a key component of their economy and people from the region are able to find work in line with monastic management values (honesty, respect, accountability, collaboration, spirit of service and dedication to quality).”

– Father Abbot Dom André Laberge, Saint-Benoît-du-Lac Abbey

Quick facts

  • Fromagerie de Saint-Benoît-du-Lac’s project was supported by the Dairy Processing Investment Fund, a $100 million, four-year (2017-21) program designed to help dairy processors modernize their operations and diversify their product lines to pursue new market opportunities.

  • The Fromagerie de Saint-Benoît-du-Lac, located in the Eastern Township area of Québec, is a small-scale specialty-cheese and award-winning producer operating since 1943, employing 19 people. It specializes in 13 different types of blue-veined and swiss-type cheese including the Mont-Saint-Benoît, Frère Jacques and Ermite.

  • Canada’s dairy sector is also supported by the associated Dairy Farm Investment Program, a $250 million, five-year federal investment launched in August 2017. To date, over 1900 projects have been approved for funding support valued at over $128 million, including over 870 projects in Quebec worth over $49 million, in a wide array of projects from small investments in cow comfort equipment to large ones for automated milking systems.

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