Golden Ears Cheesecrafters (The News files)

Golden Ears Cheesecrafters (The News files)

Maple Ridge dairy company uses government grant to improve food tracing capability

Golden Ears Cheesecrafters have made shift from manual paper-based system to real-time digital

A Maple Ridge cheese maker took advantage of a government grant to strengthen food security and food safety.

Golden Ears Cheesecrafters recently made a shift in traceability systems from a manual paper-based system to a real-time digital system with $6,500 in funding from the B.C. Traceability Adoption Program.

The journey of each variety of cheese sold in their store is captured through a traceability system. From the milk produced on the family farm to the cheese made and sold in store, this system helps document the journey.

With the funding, the company was able to modernize its existing system, which has decreased paperwork, reduced labour costs and allowed it to focus on improving the quality of its products while looking at ways to expand operations, all while building more confidence in its products with consumers.

READ MORE: Buying local imperative to agriculture businesses

For sisters Emma and Jenna Davison, dairy farming is in their blood.

Their family has been farming in Maple Ridge since 1902. To honour their agricultural roots while creating their own legacy, the Davisons created Golden Ears Cheesecrafters.

Milk for their products is sourced from their uncle’s jersey cows next door and is used to produce 12 varieties of artisan cheese and butter for B.C. consumers.

Jenna said the company has had to make a lot of their own systems for controlling inventory.

“Using technology to make our traceability system more efficient and effective was something we needed to do,” she said. “This funding helped us rethink how we do traceability, allowing us to track products much faster with our upgraded system.”

Since the program launched in January 2019, traceability programs have disbursed $1.12 million to 125 businesses in B.C.

It is part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership; a five-year, $3-billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments, which aims to strengthen the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based product sector, while ensuring continued innovation, growth and prosperity.

B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fishers, Lana Popham said family businesses like Golden Ears Cheesecrafters share their stories through the food they create.

“Our government is committed to helping businesses share the story of food from farm to table, and traceability systems help to do that,” she said.

“Strengthening these systems demonstrates how companies are working to keep local food safe and accessible to consumers.”

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