Government of Canada

Government of Canada

April 16, 2010 11:32 ET

Government of Canada Helps Create New Markets for Quebec Milk and Cheese Producers

SAINT-PRIME, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - April 16, 2010) - The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture) and the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec) are pleased to announce today that the Government of Canada is contributing $2 million to Corporation HET (Horizon Environnement Technologies). This major investment will allow the company to produce a new animal feed supplement from whey, a common waste product of cheese production.

For this innovative project, the company will received $1.2 million from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), an arm's length, not-for-profit corporation created by the Government of Canada, a repayable contribution of $663,042 from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as well as $150,000 from the Société d'aide au développement des collectivités (SADC).

"Our government recognizes that science and innovation are key to creating new market opportunities for Canadian farmers," said Minister Blackburn. "This project will increase demand for milk, helping farmers raise healthier pigs and benefit the environment by turning a waste product into a valuable commodity."

"This Government is working hard so that Canadian farmers remain competitive and successful despite the challenging economic climate," said Minister Lebel, who is also the Member of Parliament for Roberval-Lac-Saint-Jean. "This company takes an innovative idea and uses it to deliver jobs and other economic benefits to local farmers and the entire community." 

SDTC President and CEO Vicky Sharpe believes that Corporation HET's project is a great example of how clean technologies can bring added value to Canadians, in this case cheese producers who will be able to reduce their environmental footprint while reducing their operation costs.

This project began when Corporation HET subsidiary Sovalac Inc. designed a bioreactor which converts whey into a protein-rich supplement that can be added to animal feed. "We are very pleased with the Government of Canada's important investment in this project," said Paul Boudreault, CEO of Sovalac inc. "This funding will help us use locally produced milk products in our manufacturing, improve environmental impacts of whey disposal, as well as create real savings for Quebec milk producers."

The new facility, located in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region adjacent to Fromagerie Perron, is expected to create 16 jobs and generate $2.8 million in annual revenues. "Fromagerie Perron is proud to team up with Sovalac on the project," said president Jean-Marc Perron. "This partnership will not only add value to whey from our production cycle, but also make it possible for us to increase our competitiveness in the marketplace and consolidate our operations in Saint-Prime."

All participants expect that the project has the potential to be widely used by cheese factories all over the country, reducing their environmental impact while creating a new agri-food product.

BACKGROUNDER

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The Government of Canada has invested up to $2 million in Corporation Horizon Environnement Technologies (HET) and its subsidiary, Sovalac Inc., for the development of a process to create an animal feed supplement from whey that will reduce the environmental impact of cheese production:

  • $1.2 million from Sustainable Development Technology Canada;

  • up to $663,000 in repayable contributions under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Agri-Opportunities program; and

  • $150,000 from the Société d'aide au développement des collectivités (SADC).

This project also helps cheese producers reduce the environmental impact and the cost of disposing of whey. A significant portion of whey is currently disposed of by spreading it on fields as fertilizer. However, there are limits to how much can be disposed of in this way, and cheese producers in Quebec who want to expand their production must come up with new solutions for disposing of whey. The Sovalac plant provides a solution and also saves Fromagerie Perron the cost of transporting its whey out of the region.

THE PARTNERS

Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) is an arm's-length foundation created by the Government of Canada which has received $1.05 billion as part of the Government's commitment to create a healthy environment and a high quality of life for all Canadians. SDTC operates two funds aimed at the development and demonstration of innovative technological solutions. The $550 million SD Tech Fund™ supports projects that address climate change, air quality, clean water, and clean soil. The $500 million NextGen Biofuels Fund™ supports the establishment of first-of-kind large demonstration-scale facilities for the production of next-generation renewable fuels. SDTC operates as a not-for-profit corporation and has been working with the public and private sector including industry, academia, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the financial community and all levels of government to achieve this mandate. For more information, please visit www.sdtc.ca.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Agri-Opportunities Program is providing the funding in the form of a repayable contribution. The Agri-Opportunities Program is a $134 million five year program that focuses on new innovative agri-products, processes or services that are currently not commercially produced or available in Canada and that are ready to be introduced into the marketplace. In addition, Canada's Economic Action Plan supports agriculture as a core economic driver in this country, and is committed to creating jobs of the future. Investments in viable market opportunities will help build an even stronger agriculture sector and Canadian economy. For more information please visit www.agr.gc.ca/Agri-Opportunities

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-773-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    Office of the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn
    Sophie Doucet
    Press Secretary
    Cell: 613-996-4649
    or
    Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
    Office of the Minister
    Margaux Stastny
    Director of Communications
    613-996-2007
    or
    SDTC
    Pat Breton
    Director, Communications
    613-234-6313 ext. 295
    media@sdtc.ca