Gay Lea Foods Co-operative to Acquire Hewitt’s Dairy

Saanen dairy goats. Photo courtesy of Dairy Goat Journal

Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited has reached an agreement to purchase Hewitt’s Dairy, effective November 1, 2014. Hewitt’s, a family-owned and -operated processor in Hagersville, Ontario, has been in the dairy industry for over 125 years, and offers a complete line of goat milk products, including organic goat milk in glass bottles and fresh organic chèvre

“With this acquisition we continue the Ontario tradition of the family farm,” says Gay Lea Foods chair Paul Vickers. “Hewitt’s Dairy, like our co-operative, began with a farmer providing fresh milk to local families, and expanded its dedication to rural communities over the course of many years.”

Hewitt’s Dairy produces milk, cream, sour cream, cultured beverages, yogourt and a full range of dairy goat products, and offers a selection of more than 100 flavours of regular ice cream, sugar-free and low-fat ice cream, frozen yogourt, sherbet and goat ice cream at its popular dairy bar, located on Hwy 6 north of Hagersville.

“This acquisition will expand Gay Lea’s presence in the Ontario dairy marketplace and increase the diversity of our basket of goods,” says Michael Barrett, president and CEO of Gay Lea Foods. “We look forward to new opportunities as we welcome such a well-respected brand to our co-operative.”

Gay Lea Foods, founded in 1958, is Ontario’s largest dairy co-operative with 1,200 members and 835 employees. Its sales in 2013 topped $560 million. It is a leader in the dairy industry and the co-operative sector, with its head office in Mississauga and seven production facilities across Ontario. Its brands, Gay Lea, Nordica, Ivanhoe and Salerno, have a strong presence in the retail, foodservice and industrial ingredients sectors.

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