B.C. puts up $25M for plant to help boost local milk production

The British Columbia government is contributing up to $25 million toward the expansion of a milk production plant aimed at boosting the supply of locally sourced food.

The province said the construction expansion to Vitalus Nutrition’s plant in Abbotsford, B.C., will begin this summer and will increase local milk production by 50 per cent, to 1.4 billion litres annually.

Click to play video: 'Women leading the next generation of farmers'

Women leading the next generation of farmers

The project will boost local production for dairy products such as butter, which is currently required to be shipped from Eastern Canada to fill local demand, the government said in a statement.

Story continues below advertisement

Premier David Eby told a news conference announcing the project Tuesday that it will also create up to 100 more jobs at the site.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

Eby said the pandemic as well as recent climate disasters, including the atmospheric river that swamped southwestern British Columbia in November 2021, impacted supply chains, elevated grocery prices and showed a need to produce more food locally.

“We understand that we still need to ensure that we’ve got a strong future here because these are challenging times for families and individuals right across the province,” Eby told the conference. “That’s why this investment and this support is so important to address food prices, food security, jobs (and) economic growth.”

He said the investment will also create positive ripple effects across the region.

Click to play video: 'Drought management workshops offered for B.C. farmers'

Drought management workshops offered for B.C. farmers

“The true impact of this investment will be across Western Canada, because the expansion of this facility will mean billions of additional dollars of dairy quota for farmers in British Columbia, and other parts of Western Canada, who will be able to create thousands of additional jobs in our province.”

Story continues below advertisement

Brenda Bailey, minister of jobs, economic development and innovation, said the milk production plant expansion will also anchor B.C.’s new industrial development blueprint, which aims to focus on growing clean energy and sustainable industries.

“The blueprint will map out the province’s work to drive new investment, to create new jobs and seize new opportunities in growing clean energy and sustainable industries right across our province. This is important because clean industries making and using clean energy will improve our quality of life and strengthen B.C.’s diverse economy today and for future generations,” she said.

“By helping companies like Vitalis grow right here at home, we’re not only strengthening our food supply chain and boosting our food security, we’re also creating opportunities for British Columbians.”

More on Politics

&copy 2024 The Canadian Press