New Kingston baby formula facility to source ingredients from Canadian dairy farmers
China’s Feihe International owns the plant
By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
A Chinese-owned infant formula plant being constructed in Kington, Ont., will source its dairy ingredients from Canadian producers.
Feihe International’s $225-million 300,000-square-foot facility, scheduled to open in 2019, plans to process about 60,000 tonnes of dry baby food each year.
And the company wants the milk to come from Canadian dairy farms.
“It was a signal that the Canadian dairy industry is open for business, that other countries want to come to do business in our industry,” Graham Lloyd, general manager of Dairy Farmers of Ontario, told CBC.
China needs baby formula
About 85 per cent of the baby formula will be shipped back to China, as the country’s one child per family legislation relaxes. The facility will also separate cream from the milk.
The Chinese Government announced in 2015 that it would allow all couples to have two children.
In 2013, China outlined couples were allowed to have two children if one parent was an only child.
Goat milk wanted, too
Part of Feihe’s plans in Kingston include North America’s first and only goat milk infant formula facility, according to the Kingston Economic Development Corporation.
Meaning some farmers may need to up their production.
“Hey, at the end of the day, whoever buys the product,” Andy Jackson, a dairy goat farmer from Winchester, Ont., told CBC. He and his partner joked about expanding from a herd of 300 to 2,000 within five years.
“With this plant coming into effect, that’ll make that joke actually be able to happen.”
There are approximately 230 commercial dairy goat farms in Ontario, according to the Ontario Dairy Goat Co-operative. Goat farms in the province produced more than 40 million litres of milk in 2015, according to the Canadian Dairy Information Centre.