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P.E.I. organic dairy farms plan cheese

Consumers of organic cheese on Prince Edward Island are expected to soon have a locally-produced option for the first time.

In a provincial government release Wednesday, the province’s Organic Dairy Club said it has been working with both Amalgamated Dairies Ltd. (ADL) and Purity Dairy for about two years on an organic cheese and now hopes to have that product on store shelves early next month.

“Virtually all” of the organic dairy products sold in P.E.I. now come from Ontario, the province said. “Actually, there is no organic processing of dairy products in the Maritimes at all so we are breaking new ground,” said Roger Henry, an ag consultant who has been working with the club, in the province’s release.

Now, the organically produced milk picked up from four producers in Prince County in around the middle of this month is to be turned into organic cheese at ADL’s Summerside, P.E.I. plant.

“I really think the time is right for this,” said Joe Dorgan, an organic dairyman at Seacow Pond, north of Tignish, in the province’s release. “The consumer wants to know more and more about how their food is produced and I am convinced they would rather buy local.”

The project’s emphasis right now is on cheese production and there are no plans to expand just yet into offering organic fluid milk, Henry said.

“However, we are not going to rule anything out at this point,” he added. “The Maritime market is wide open.”

The province said in its release that it provided support for the project through the agriculture department’s organic industry development program.

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