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Ont. fund to back goats’-milk cheesemaker

An eastern Ontario company making soft goat cheese for the Canadian and U.S. markets is in market expansion mode with over $172,000 in provincial support.

Mariposa Dairy Ltd., based at Lindsay, about 40 km west of Peterborough, will get $172,600 from the province’s Eastern Ontario Development Fund, with which the company expects to create 11 new jobs over two years.

The dairy plans to use the funding to “automate its manufacturing process, develop new products, upgrade workers’ skills, and expand its market reach,” the province said in a release Thursday.

“We are very encouraged by the Ontario government’s assistance and welcome the potential outcomes in terms of new products and jobs in the Kawartha Lakes region,” Bruce VandenBerg, Mariposa’s general manager, said in the province’s release.

The company currently employs over 50 people making cheese for grocery chains such as Loblaws and for food service companies across Canada and the Eastern Seaboard, the province said.

Mariposa, which in 2007 won a Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence, was credited at the time with expanding goat milk production in Ontario.

The company began developing flavoured cheeses, such as cinnamon and cranberry, in 2003, and went on to enter the U.S. market in 2005.

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