Quebec City-based Institutional investor Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (La Caisse) and Agropur Cooperative (Agropur), Saint-Hubert, Quebec, said they will set up a new joint investment platform for businesses in the dairy industry. The $40 million (Canadian dollars) platform will be funded by the two partners on a 50/50 basis and invest in innovative businesses specializing in dairy-related products and technologies.

The focus will be on growing companies with high potential for solid financial performance, which are led by a solid management team and who have demonstrated that innovation is a core element of their business-model, the companies said. This opportunity will allow La Caisse to make the most of Agropur's extensive operational knowledge of the agri-food sector, and Agropur to tap into La Caisse's financial expertise in supporting small and medium-sized enterprises.

"Agropur is committed to leading the way in innovation,” said , Agropur CEO Robert Coallier. “Through our forward-thinking efforts, we aim to anticipate the needs of our customers and consumers and create the dairy products of tomorrow.

"With this new platform, we are targeting innovation-oriented businesses that will help bring new vigor to the dairy industry,” he added. “We are happy to partner with la Caisse on this initiative, which is the only one of its kind in North America.”