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Gay Lea Foods buys Black River Cheese

Second purchase of Ontario cheese maker in recent months for Gay Lea

Gay Lea Foods Co-operative has bought up Black River Cheese Company, a small Ontario cheese producer.

Black River Cheese, based in Prince Edward County, Ont. has been in business since 1901 and is known for its cheddars, mozzarellas and goat and sheep cheeses. In addition to producing cheese, it operates a small store in Prince Edward County selling cheeses, jams and ice creams.

Mississauga, Ont.-based Gay Lea said in a statement that the addition of Black River Cheese “builds on Gay Lea’s “existing cheese operations” in Hamilton and Madoc, Ont.

A purchase price was not disclosed.

Gay Lea is “is committed to growing the market for Canadian dairy and strengthening dairy farmers’ ability to secure markets for our milk,” the co-op’s board chair, Steve Dolson, said.

Gay Lea’s existing brands include Salerno and Ivanhoe.

This is Gay Lea’s second acquisition in recent months. In January it purchased a minority stake in Mariposa Dairy Ltd., a producer of goat and sheep cheese. The Kawartha Lakes, Ont.-based firm sells in Canada and the U.S.

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