A $51-million expansion is taking place at the London, Ont. ice cream plant
By Diego Flammini
A multimillion dollar expansion planned for a London, Ont. facility is good news for the province’s dairy farmers.
Nestlé is investing $51.5 million into its ice cream plant, which produces about 60 million litres of ice cream annually and employs 700 people. Haagen Dasz, Nestlé Drumsticks and Nestlé Parlour ice cream are produced in the facility.
The upgrades will add between 10 and 12 new jobs, turn 45 seasonal positions into full-time ones, and help the company meet the growing demand for its products.
“Our demand is going through the roof,” Arthur Van Raalte, director of factory operations for the London, Ont. facility, told CBC on Friday. “We’re trying to keep up with demand and unfortunately we are not able to do that anymore with the available capacity we have right now.”
Increased demand likely means Ontario dairy farmers will continue to be called upon to supply Nestlé with the ingredients it needs to produce its ice cream products.
The plant expansion is a sign that Ontario’s dairy sector is attractive to processors. And Dairy Farmers of Ontario stands ready to help farmers find new markets for their products.
“Our vision is for a dynamic, profitable and growing dairy industry in Canada. We are committed to helping our processing partners grow our markets,” Graham Lloyd, Dairy Farmers of Ontario’s general manager and chief executive officer, told Farms.com in an emailed statement today.
“We have seen other significant planned processor investments – exceeding $300 million over the past year – and value Nestlé Canada's announcement and continuing commitment to grow Canadian dairy markets.”
One specific project announced last August, for example, will benefit Ontario’s cow and goat milk producers.
China’s Feihe International is constructing a $225 million infant formula plant in Kingston, Ont., that will produce about 60,000 tonnes of dry baby food each year. The plant will source its milk from local farmers, and the facility will be home to North America’s first and only goat milk infant formula facility once it opens in 2020.