Prison Farms & Feihe Connection

Canada’s new prison farms will supply goat milk for export to China via the Feihe International infant formula factory in Kingston, ON (Canada Royal Milk). This use of prison labour for the private sector would violate human rights and contradict Canada’s own laws banning import of prison-produced goods. In January 2021, a petition was launched to Stop the Prison Industrial Goat Farm, garnering over 50,000 signatures. In March 2021, the Correctional Service of Canada announced the “temporary pause” of the goat program, insisting that it “will resume.” As of 2024, Feihe has not yet received a license from the Canadian government to begin commercial production.


“Questions are being raised again over the government’s controversial prison farm program at two facilities in Kingston, Ont., with apparent plans to use cheap prison-labour to produce goat milk to be exported to China for baby formula.”
Controversy over feds’ plan to use prison labour for goat milk production for export not going away, The Hill Times, June 6, 2022

“[Kingston MP] Gerretsen has stated to the media that the expected buyer of the goat milk is the Chinese-based Feihe Corporation (Canada Royal Milk), whose Kingston plant makes infant formula mainly for export. CORCAN’s farm manager told Ontario Farmer magazine that ‘the milk is destined for Feihe,’ and the president of Ontario Goat says that there is currently no other market for goat milk.”
CSC should abandon its industrial goat farm fiasco, The Hill Times, April 5, 2021

Canada’s Proposed Prison Farm Program: Why It Won’t Work and What Would Work Better, was released on Jan. 31. The report presents a detailed critique of the CSC’s current plan to convert the farms at Joyceville and Collins Bay penitentiaries into an intensive livestock operation, using prison labour to produce goat milk for sale to a private corporation to make baby formula for export.”
Scandal brewing over feds’ prison farm plan, The Hill Times, March 8, 2021

“The Feihe factor… if Correctional Services Canada is able to enter the goat dairy industry with the financial support of the federal government and a pool of labourers who are paid just a few dollars a day, they will have an unfair advantage over the rest of the industry.”
Former Inmate, President Of Ontario Goat, Question ‘Prison Farm’ Logic, Frontenac News, March 3, 2021

“The prison farm came into the picture because Feihe, which has now built its factory and has incorporated in Canada as Canada Royal Milk, wants to produce a second line of formula using goat’s milk. CSC has been working on developing a 2000 dairy goat operation at Joyceville to sell the milk to Canada Royal Milk. If constructed, it will be the largest goat dairy operation in Canada.”
New report questions goat dairy for prison farm, Frontenac News, February 17, 2021

“That is the loophole that CSC is using as justification [to] use prison labour to produce goat milk for Chinese owned processing and export, while at the same time Canada does not allow any imports manufactured with prison labour.”
Former dairy farmer watches government at work from his cell, Ontario Farmer, October 13, 2020

“The use of prison labour to advance the commercial interests of China’s top infant formula producer is also inconsistent with Canada’s obligations as a signatory to the World Health Organization.”
Planned prison farms have goat milk demand issues, Ontario Farmer, August 4, 2020

“The new prison farm model doesn’t reflect the values or goals of the old one… the current plan involves turning local prison farms into an industrial goat dairy operation reportedly producing milk for the Chinese-owned baby-formula factory being built in Kingston.”
Prison farms in a time of global crisis: Thinking big, starting small, Kingstonist, May 26, 2020

“Multiple reports since the 2018 funding announcement have linked the launch of the prison dairy farms to a new nearby plant as a potential supplier for the Canada Royal Milk infant formula company, run by Chinese company Feihe.”
Prison farm program should be broadened to increase prisoner distancing amid COVID-19, advocate argues, The Hill Times, April 22, 2020

“The planned operation, as confirmed to EOPF by the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), was to gradually scale to 1,500 goats in a contained industrial facility – though right now, CSC says the size of the goat herd is yet undetermined. While CSC claims that no contracts have been signed yet, it’s expected that the Joyceville farm will supply milk for a new Chinese-government-controlled infant formula factory in Kingston.”
What’s wrong with “Milking prison labour”?, Briarpatch Magazine, January 6, 2020

“The arrival of the dairy goat herd is expected in the summer of 2020. It is widely assumed that the Feihe infant formula plant currently under construction in Kingston will use goat milk collected at Joyceville Institution.”
CSC denies group’s claim that Joyceville goat operation a no-go, The Kingston Whig-Standard, November 15, 2019

“One major change in the prison farm system will be the introduction of a large industrial goat dairy operation at Joyceville. The decision to create an industrial dairy plant happens to come at the same time that both the federal and provincial governments have offered unspecified millions in funding to Feihe International, a Chinese-government-owned corporation registered in the Cayman Islands, to build an infant formula processing plant in Kingston, just a few kilometres from the farm at Joyceville.”
Milking prison labour, Briarpatch Magazine, October 29, 2019

“Candidates linked the discussion about food to climate change, poverty, metal health and the prison farms… Walker criticized what he called the industrial model of agriculture with which the prison farms are being re-established. Christmas also questioned the relationship between the prison farms and the potential that they will provide goat milk to supply a Chinese-owned infant formula plant.”
Candidates give food for thought at Eat Think Vote debate, The Kingston Whig-Standard, September 24, 2019

“Not everyone thinks the new business model will benefit the inmates or the farm animals. ‘Evolve Our Prison Farms’ questions the use of goat’s milk to supply the new Chinese-based infant formula plant in Kingston.”
Kingston’s prison farms officially open once again, Global News, August 15, 2019

“Amidst questions on whether the milk produced from dairy goats at Joyceville would be supplying China’s infant formula producer Feihe International, [CORCAN CEO Kelly Hartle] said that there ‘wasn’t a link necessarily’ between the decision to introduce dairy goats to the prison farms and the recent opening of the Kingston Feihe plant. Hartle said she was unable to provide details due to privacy reasons.”
Collins Bay Institution farm officially opens, Kingstonist, August 15, 2019

“It is believed that Joyceville will supply Kingston’s Feihe plant with goat’s milk for infant formula production and everything else produced will go to the open market. [Conservative national defence critic James] Bezan said prison farms should be producing food for prisons, but that is not happening in the current model. ‘Look at the production of the infant formula. That should be produced by a farmer, not a by prison,’ he said.”
Prison farms should not have reopened: Bezan, The Kingston Whig-Standard, June 14, 2019

“Seeking external markets, CSC opted for industrial goat dairy as the core operation of the new program. Up to 2,000 goats will be farmed in a contained facility at Joyceville to supply China’s top infant formula producer Feihe International. The new prison farm model provided an ‘opportunity for the correctional institution to play a role’ in Feihe’s operations, according to [Kingston MP] Gerretsen.”
Vigils for ethical prison farms to be held outside Collins Bay Institution, Kingstonist, June 11, 2019

“The federal government has announced that about 2,000 goats and only about 90 cows will be part of the prison program, and Canada Royal Milk [Feihe International] will be focusing on production of goat milk products.”
Prison farm supporter worries new Kingston farms may exploit prison labour, Global News, June 7, 2019

“[CSC Regional Manager] Chris Staley said that milk from the farm’s goats will be the major livestock enterprise at the farm. The milk is destined for the Feihe infant formula factory currently under construction here.”
New prison farm structure is taking shape, Ontario Farmer, March 26, 2019

“The re-opened farms will operate a goat dairy, in which milk will be sold to a Chinese-based infant formula producer, Feihe International.”
Land, Agriculture, and the Carceral: The Territorializing Function of Penitentiary Farms, Radical Philosophy Review, February 9, 2019

“For a time, the government was talking of having only goats, to provide milk for a baby formula plant to be built in the area.”
Cow Corrections, Edible Ottawa, January/February 2019

“CSC wanted goats as part of the program with an infant formula plant soon to open in Kingston. ‘The federal government’s interest and approval of the goat operation is related to increased demand for goat milk in eastern Ontario that will come with the [Feihe] plant.'”
Cows, goats headed back to jail at Joyceville, Collins Bay, Ottawa Citizen, June 22, 2018

“[Prison Farm Advisory Panel co-chair Dianne Dowling] said CSC wanted goats as part of the program with the Kingston Feihe plant opening in the near future. ‘The federal government’s interest and approval of the goat operation is related to increased demand for goat milk in eastern Ontario that will come with the Feihe plant,’ she said.”
Prison farms to include dairy, goat operations, The Kingston Whig-Standard, June 21, 2018

“None of the milk will be processed on site. Instead, the hope is that both the cow’s milk and the goat’s milk will be shipped to the Feihe Int. processing plant currently under construction in the Kingston area, although no plans have been finalized. The new facility is backed by the Chinese government.”
‘The cows are coming home’: two prison farms to reopen in Kingston, iPolitics, June 21 2018

“Around 500 dairy goats will join the cows, with hopes of expanding to more than 1,000 goats in the coming years when a major infant formula facility opens in Kingston.”
Two Ontario prison farms closed by Harper government to be reopened after pressure from nearby residents, The Globe and Mail, June 21 2018

“The prison farm could take part in such new opportunities as goat farming, since there will be a large demand for goat milk locally once the Feihe International plant opens by the early winter of 2019.”
Prison farms advisory panel has local connections, The Kingston Whig-Standard, May 12 2018

“[Prison Farm Advisory Panel co-chair] Dowling points to a looming demand for both cow and goat milk from an upcoming Chinese-owned infant formula factory in Kingston.”
Reopening prison farms enlightened but limited, The London Free Press, March 16 2018

“Corrections Services Canada will be looking to develop goat milking operations, manned by inmates, that will see product going to the nearby Feihe plant to be turned into baby formula for the Chinese market.”
Save our Prison Farm members betrayed by Feds, Frontenac News, March 14, 2018

“We ask Corrections Canada ‘Why goats?’ They didn’t really answer the question. Is there a possible connection to the construction of the new Feihe infant formula plant currently under construction here in the city and its formula made from goats’ milk?”
Prison goat farm could help formula producer, Global News, March 9, 2018

“[Prison Farm Advisory Panel co-chair] Dowling believes the move to dairy goats is because of the China-owned Feihe infant formula factory due to open in Kingston next year, with CORCAN possibly providing some of the goat milk it will need. ‘Definitely it’s connected to the marketing opportunity with Feihe,’ she said.”
Cows not in initial prison farm plan, The Kingston Whig-Standard, March 8 2018

CBC News investigative report detailing federal funding, access to information requests, missing information, and tracking the Feihe connection back to 2016, timing which coincides with the government launching its public consultation process into reopening the prison farms:
New Chinese baby formula plant to buy Canadian milk — but at what price?, CBC News, August 3 2017