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B.C. provincial government announces $25 million contribution to Abbotsford milk production plant

Vitalus Nutrition expansion project set to begin this summer, with scheduled completion date of 2026

A new state-of-the-art milk production plant in Abbotsford begins construction this summer, with a scheduled completion date of 2026.

The BC NDP made the announcement at Vitalus Nutrition on Tuesday (April 23) morning.

The provincial government is contributing up to $25 million to help VN’s expansion to a 143,500-square-foot facility at its existing facility on Mt. Lehman Road in west Abbotsford.

The expansion was initially approved in 2022, but Tuesday’s announcement sees an increase from the originally planned 99,000-square-foot proposal.

RELATED: Major expansion approved for Vitalus Nutrition in Abbotsford

Vitalus currently employs 135 people, but that number will rise to more than 230 when the project is completed. It’s believed that the new facility will support over 3,000 indirect jobs in and around Abbotsford, including workers on farms and those related to supply chain logistics.

According to the government’s press release, the larger manufacturing plant will help B.C. milk producers increase local production by 50 per cent to a new total of 1.4 billion litres of milk production in the province annually.

The release states that the new facility will allow local producers to meet domestic demand for dairy products, like butter which is being shipped from eastern Canada, and increase exports of specialty dairy ingredients for nutritional applications. The expanded plant will also use many state-of-the-art technologies to ensure that B.C. dairy products meet the exacting standards of quality required for today and into the future.

“Today’s funding announcement is a significant investment in Vitalus Nutrition in B.C. and it also represents a commitment to the future of dairy farming and the ag-tech sector in Canada,” stated Phil Vanderpol, CEO of Vitalus Nutrition Inc. “Our mission is to continue to unlock the nutritional value of dairy, but first and foremost, B.C. is our home, and we are proud to be able to create a significant number of family-supporting jobs, increase exports and enhance our contribution to the provincial economy.”

Premier David Eby stated that the new facility increases food security, jobs and economic growth. He also believes that locals have seen the devastation of climate change, including the 2021 flood, and that this new facility helps with food security in the Fraser Valley.

“British Columbians have seen the impacts of climate disasters on food prices. We must produce more food here in B.C., and we have the ingredients to do it,” he said. “Helping made-in-B.C. food producers like Vitalus Nutrition grow means more good jobs and opportunities for British Columbians. By working collaboratively across industrial sectors and leveraging B.C.’s strengths, we can build a strong, sustainable economy that works better for people.”

Eby was asked about the lack of BC NDP candidates in the Abbotsford South and Abbotsford West riding, and said that the party across the province is identifying and working with potential new candidates.

“When it comes to the election, we’re going to have candidates that reflect the diversity of our candidates in every aspect,” he said. “And candidates that I think will turn some heads. I’m very excited about the people putting their names forward.”

The provincial election is set for Oct. 19.

Ben Lypka

About the Author: Ben Lypka

I joined the Abbotsford News in 2015.
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