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Ontario invests in ag processing sector

Ontario invests in ag processing sector

The government committed up to $8.5 million for Bonduelle’s expansion project

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The Ontario government is supporting the provincial vegetable processing sector through a multimillion dollar investment.

The Province earmarked up to $8.5 million to help Bonduelle, a vegetable processor, complete a $79.8 million expansion. The project will stretch across facilities in Tecumseh, Ingersoll and Strathroy.

The expansion will allow the facilities to implement new technology to put new products and packaging on domestic and foreign markets.

Bonduelle processes about 250 million pounds of vegetables annually.

And the company’s renovations will also help increase productivity, which is good news for all of Ontario, said Suzanne van Bommel, chair of the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers.

“This is tremendous news,” she told today. “Food and beverage processing is critical to this province and its economy. Any partnership with ourselves or with government that creates healthy, thriving customers for producers in Ontario can’t be seen as anything but positive.

Van Bommel farms in Belmont, Ont. and grows peas for Bonduelle.

The expansion is also creating more work within agriculture.

Bonduelle will hire 87 more people as a result of the renovations, adding to a provincial ag workforce of about 95,000.

“This strategic investment will also create and retain jobs, boost local economies in Tecumseh, Ingersoll and Strathroy and support the competitiveness and further growth of Ontario’s agri-food sector,” Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, said in a statement yesterday.

Tom Morrison/OurWindsor file photo