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Are you a budding cheese-maker? Ontario needs you!

From: Food in Canada

Guelph, Ont. – Ontario needs more cheese-makers to help serve the sector in the coming decade, says a survey of Ontario cheese manufacturers. In a statement, the Agricultural Adaptation Council says it funded the survey, which found that “based on growth, turnover and retirement, Ontario dairy processors estimate that more than 200 new cheese-makers will be needed.”

Local cheese is a segment of the market that is growing, says the statement, and a new wave of Ontario cheese-makers will help to “feed consumers’ endless appetite for local.” According to the Ontario Dairy Council (ODC), its members process 97 per cent of the milk produced in Ontario to manufacture a wide range of dairy products, including cheese. The sector generates more than $6 billion in annual sales, says the statement.

Stacee Sokoloff, manager of Member Services and Communications with ODC, says in the statement that “identifying the needs for Ontario cheese-makers has attracted interest across Canada, and drawn attention to the greater need for skills development and training.” Sokoloff also adds that with CETA, more than 17,000 tonnes of additional imported European cheeses will be coming into the Canadian market. That makes it “increasingly urgent for cheese manufacturers to stay innovative and competitive to maintain and grow their markets,” she says.

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