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P.E.I. organic cheese production ends: CBC

The Maritime provinces’ first organic dairy processor is also its last, for now, as dairy firm Amalgamated Dairies Ltd. (ADL) has opted to stop making Prince Edward Island organic cheese, CBC reported Monday.

ADL and Purity Dairy’s plans to get local P.E.I. organic cheese on store shelves, in co-operation with that province’s Organic Dairy Club, were announced with much fanfare in September last year.

The P.E.I. government provided support for the companies’ organic cheese project at that time through its agriculture department’s organic industry development program.

The club and companies had worked on an organic cheese product for about two years, the province then said. Milk was used from four P.E.I. producers, who had converted their dairies and crops to organic based on this project.

“The consumer wants to know more and more about how their food is produced and I am convinced they would rather buy local,” said Joe Dorgan, an organic dairyman at Seacow Pond, north of Tignish, in the province’s announcement last September.

The net result is about 30,000 kg of organic cheese, which CBC reported Monday are sitting in an ADL warehouse at the company’s Summerside dairy plant, with no buyers.

“Consumers are trading down, and they’re trading down based on price,” ADL finance director Chad Mann was quoted as telling CBC. “Anything that has a premium attached to it would be sitting on the shelf longer.”

ADL hoped to find a market for the organic cheddar, but told CBC the product may just have to be sold as conventional cheddar at a marked-down conventional price.

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