Canada Royal Milk receives Health Canada approval to produce infant formula

The Canada Royal Milk plant. Photo by Logan Cadue/Kingstonist.

Canada Royal Milk has announced it will begin producing infant formula for the Canadian marketplace following approval from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, according to a press release.

Established in 2016, Canada Royal Milk (CRM) completed construction of its processing plant at 1680 Venture Drive in Kingston’s west end in 2019. In April 2022, CRM announced an increase in production at the facility, coinciding with new long-term partnerships with Ontario Goat Dairy Cooperative (ODGC) and Producteurs de lait de chèvre du Québec (PLCQ) who, together, represent over 120 goat dairy farms. Until this announcement, CRM has manufactured products for international export only.

“Canada Royal Milk and its more than 150 skilled professionals employed in the Kingston facility welcome the decision by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that will allow for the production of infant formula. After a lengthy process of nearly two years, Canada Royal Milk has now received both Health Canada and CFIA approval. Meeting the infant formula needs of parents has been Canada Royal Milk’s number one priority since breaking ground in 2019,” the organization said in the release.

According to information in the release, the next steps to begin production of the first batch of infant formula have been initiated. The organization said it is anticipated that the product will be available for retail distribution from coast-to-coast-to-coast this summer.

“Canada Royal Milk is guided by the highest standards of safety, quality and excellence to create a made-in-Canada infant formula. Now that the necessary approvals have been obtained, Canada Royal Milk is committed to supporting the health and nourishment of families across the country,” the organization expressed.

It should be noted that not all news regarding CRM (which used to be called Feihe) locally has been positive. In 2020, the company was ordered to repair the living conditions at properties used as employee residences during the construction of the factory, which were also found to be overcrowded. Additionally, whistleblowers have asserted that prison farms will be used to produce the goat milk needed to supply the factory in making the infant formula, which would result in prisoners making $1/hour while producing milk for a commercial operation — in 2021, Queen’s Business Law Clinic said that concept “would be deemed criminal” by the United Nations as a violation of human rights.

In response to Kingstonist inquiries to confirm the information printed in the release, which was published by a third party, Canada Royal Milk confirmed the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s approval, directing to the company’s ‘certifications’ webpage. While CRM responded to Kingstonist attempts to arrange an interview with a CRM representative, that interview could not be secured by time of publication.

A copy of CRM’s licence through the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Image via CRM website.

Kingstonist will provide updated coverage if/when an interview with a CRM representative is secured.

With files from Tori Stafford.

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