Fresh off an historic year, Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited is poised for further growth in 2017 with ambitious plans for an expansion of its foods and ingredients business as well as for continued investment in innovative, industry-leading products.

At today's Annual General Meeting, Michael Barrett, President & CEO, highlighted the Co-operative's achievements in 2016, declaring it "a banner year" for Gay Lea Foods. Continued growth and an intensified commitment to innovation in 2017 will build on last year's successes which include numerous record setting accomplishments:

• Becoming the first North American co-operative to welcome both dairy goat and dairy cow members

• An investment and partnership in Mariposa Dairy, the fastest-growing goat cheese business in North America

• The launch of innovative new aged goat cheddar cheeses

• The addition of Black River Cheese and Stirling Creamery

• Record membership growth

• Record processing volumes

• Record sales

• Record profitability

• Record fundraising by employees and delegates for the Gay Lea Foundation, the official registered charity of Gay Lea Foods

• Continued investment in employee training and professional development programs