(LINDSAY) Mariposa Dairy is growing again, only this time, it’s not just the Lindsay factory.
Earlier this month, dairy general manager Rick Glab was one of 35 delegates who accompanied Prime Minister Stephen Harper on a trade mission to the United Kingdom.
The trade mission was designed to support Canadian companies as they seek to secure first-mover advantages in the European Union market from the Canada-European Union Free Trade Agreement. The U.K. is Canada’s second-largest destination for Canadian investment abroad, the third most important source of foreign direct investment and third largest export destination.
In recent years, Mr. Glab said the dairy has worked expand its domestic business, however, the trade mission trip was the first time the company had actively looked into moving into the European market. Being invited on the trip was a “great example of how business and government can work together.”
The trip afforded the company the chance to meet key leaders in the industry, take part in market tours and look at future opportunities.
“We were able to have really good discussions as to how we can fit into that market,” said Mr. Glab, adding it was also a chance to share information about the dairy; its commitment to quality, innovations, efficiencies and participation in the ever-growing goat cheese market.
But the recent trip is far from the only one Mr. Glab and the Mariposa Dairy brand is making.
In October, Mr. Glab will travel to Germany to discuss closing a deal that would see the company’s product exported to that market. The company is also hoping to export product to Mexico.
“In 2014, our export market will exceed our domestic for the first time,” said Mr. Glab.
That means the company will need to step up production, and to do so, Mariposa Dairy needs more space.
In March, the packaging lines will move into a new 4,000 square foot facility on St. George Street, with the processing side following in 2016. Mr. Glab expects the aging rooms, needed to produce the company’s award-winning artisenal cheeses, will remain at the current location on St. David Street. The company is also looking at setting up a retail store.
“We have people knocking on our [factory] door all the time wanting to purchase cheese,” said Mr. Glab, noting much of the product is available locally via Loblaws, LaMantia’s Country Market and Sobey’s.
It’s not surprising as the awards continue to flow.
In early August, the company’s Lenberg Farms Tania Toscano Sheep’s Milk Cheese won gold in the Best Canadian Cheese and the Best Canadian Sheep’s Milk Cheese categories at the International Cheese Awards held in Nantwich, England. The award-winning sheep’s milk cheese is celebrating its eleventh major award since 2011 and its second European title. Another Lenberg Farms creation, the Lindsay Bandaged Cheddar, placed second in the Best Canadian Goat’s Milk Cheese category.