June 5, 2018 9:11 am
Updated: June 5, 2018 4:42 pm

Coca-Cola building $85M dairy production facility in Peterborough

Coca-Cola is investing $85 million to build a facility for Fairlife milk products in Peterborough.

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Beverage giant Coca-Cola Canada is building an $85-million production facility in Peterborough, expanding its existing Minute Maid plant.

The company says the facility will provide new production capabilities starting with Fairlife ultrafiltered milk, a lactose-free milk which the company says contains nine essential nutrients with 50 per cent more protein and 50 per cent less sugar than traditional milk.

The company says the facility will create 35 jobs along with economic spin-offs with development and construction of the facility on Lansdowne Street West/Borden Avenue and ongoing resources and suppliers to support daily operations.

Working closely with Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Canada will be the first international market for Fairlife products. Coca-Cola distributes products from fairlife via Minute Maid. The Peterborough Minute Maid facility produces all frozen juice for North America.

“We couldn’t be more excited to continue the Fairlife journey with our forthcoming expansion into Canada,” says Tim Doelman, chief operating officer of Fairlife.

“We’re continuing to experience tremendous growth as more and more people are becoming dedicated fans of our rich-tasting and nutritious milk, and we’re confident that Canadians are going to love it as well. The decision to launch Fairlife in Canada was an easy one to make, given the high farming and dairy standards already in place. All of our products start with high quality, great tasting fresh milk, which is what Canadian dairy farms are dedicated to as well.”

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The new facility, scheduled to begin operations in the first quarter of 2020, will produce Fairlife ultrafiltered milk in fat-free, 2 per cent white, 2 per cent chocolate and whole (3.25 per cent) white in 1.5-litre polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles; and 2 per cent white and 2 per cent chocolate in 240-millilitre PET bottles.

“This announcement is a significant step in our journey to be a total beverage company. We are listening to consumers and evolving our business strategy to respond,” stated Shane Grant, president of the Canadian business unit of the Coca-Cola Company.

“To be able to leverage the skilled workforce in Peterborough, build onto the existing platform that we have, and continue the great relationship with that city. That’s why we chose Peterborough,” said Fran Mulhern, Vice-President of Coca-Cola and General Manager of Farm to Table

“This could’ve gone to a number of other communities in North America, but Peterborough was chosen for its proximity to product and for its stability of services,” added Daryl Bennett, mayor of Peterborough.

The company says the plant will be supplied with milk from local dairy farmers in Ontario and will bring “new innovation to the Canadian dairy industry.”

“Dairy farmers in Ontario look forward to working with processors, such as Coca-Cola Canada and Fairlife, to bring further innovation to our growing Canadian dairy industry, and are excited at the opportunity Fairlife presents to expand the dairy category and offer more variety to consumers,” Graham Lloyd, Dairy Farmers of Ontario general manager and chief executive officer, said.

“Canadian consumers value high-quality milk and animal care standards available in Ontario and throughout Canada, which is why Canada is an ideal market to launch Fairlife. Canada’s dairy system continues to contribute to the Canadian economy by attracting millions of dollars in processor investments and offering continued and stable growth.”

READ MORE: Global butter shortage, steep vanilla prices hurting Canadian bakeries

Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada praises the company’s investment, noting Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industry generates over $100 billion of the country’s gross domestic product, employing more Canadians than any other manufacturing industry in the country.

“This new plant in Peterborough will help create jobs, encourage innovation and foster new market opportunities in Ontario and across the country — tapping into the growth potential of Canada’s agriculture and food industry.”

Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef says the investment represents a significant vote of confidence in a 70-year strong partnership between Coca-Cola, Minute Maid and the area’s skilled workers.

“The renewal of this important relationship will create 35 new, well-paying jobs and continue to support 100 good, middle-class jobs at the Peterborough Minute Maid plant,” she said. This investment in our community further solidifies Peterborough-Kawartha as a regional leader in innovation and economic development.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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