Vitalus Nutrition Inc., a Canada-based dairy ingredient supplier, and Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd., Canada, entered into a joint venture to process dairy ingredients and butter in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The joint venture includes plans for significant upgrades to modernize an existing food manufacturing facility, creating a need for new skilled labor, increased drying capacity in Western Canada and new butter production.

The Vitalus-Gay Lea Foods joint venture also provides a new market opportunity for milk from Manitoba dairy farms, as Dairy Farmers of Manitoba will be supplying the raw milk for the new processing facility. In addition, dairy farmers in the province will have the opportunity to join Gay Lea Foods as member owners.

"Vitalus is pleased to partner with Gay Lea Foods and Dairy Farmers of Manitoba to increase much needed drying capacity while further developing the dairy ingredients industry, adding growth and new market opportunities for Canadian dairy," says Philip Vanderpol, president, Vitalus Nutrition.

"Gay Lea Foods is excited by the opportunities that the joint venture brings to both the co-operative and Canadian dairy, through increased processing capacity for ingredients and butter while extending our open membership to farmers in Manitoba," adds Michael Barrett, president and CEO, Gay Lea Foods.

"Dairy Farmers of Manitoba is pleased to provide milk for this joint venture. This new opportunity and our commitment to working together to increase processing capacity in Manitoba will help ensure the continued sustainability of the Canadian dairy industry today and for future generations," says David Wiens, chair, Dairy Farmers of Manitoba.