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Ontario Food Cluster success profiles

In Ontario the agri-food and beverage sector is the number one employer. Many major domestic and multi-national manufacturers locate in Canada, all with presence in Ontario: ADM, McCain Foods, Labatt Breweries of Canada, George Weston Ltd., Saputo, Kellogg Canada, General Mills Canada, Sleeman Breweries, Parmalat Canada, Kraft Canada Inc., McCormick Canada, Cargill Canada, Diageo Canada Inc. and these:

Grissin Bon Ltd. – Brantford. A family owned manufacturer of baked goods, Grissin Bon purchased a 3.85 acre greenfield site in Brantford’s Braneida Industrial Area to construct a 35,045 sq.ft. industrial baking facility anticipated to expand to approximately 90,000 sq.ft.,. The Brantford operation will be Grissin Bon’s first manufacturing facility in North America.

Hiram Walker & Sons Limited – Windsor-Essex. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Pernod Ricard S.A., Hiram Walker & Sons is the largest distillery in North America. Products include vodka, rum and J.P. Wiser’s Canadian whiskey, made from local grain. A recent investment will increase production to over 4.5 million cases per year and expand the company’s workforce to 280 employees.

Horizon Milling G.P. – Guelph. Horizon Milling G.P., a partnership between flour milling leaders Cargill and CHS Inc., will open a state-of-the-art mill by the end of 2014. The project will increase Canadian production up to 30 percent. Cargill currently employs over 1,500 in Guelph at its Meat Solutions and Case Ready businesses.

Maple Leaf Foods – Hamilton. Maple Leaf Foods invests $390 million to build a 402,000 square foot, state-of-the-art meat processing plant in the Red Hill Business Park, bringing 670 jobs to Hamilton. Construction to be completed in 2014.

Twin Pines Orchards & Cider House – Sarnia-Lambton. An orchard since the 1970s, Twin Pines has spent the last decade growing to produce a variety of Estate Winery Products including rising volumes of award-winning hard ciders, ice cider, and cyser. Its cider house is also home to the production of a variety of apple-based jams, jellies, preservatives, pies and donuts.

Wing's Food Products – Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Wing’s Food Products, manufacturer and distributor of Asian cuisine throughout Ontario, in August 2011 announced expansion and modernization of its Toronto plant, creating 100 new jobs. The GTA food and beverage cluster is one of the largest in North America and provides more GTA jobs than any other sector.

Solis Mexican Foods Inc. – St. Mary's (SOMA). Founded in 1981 by Mexican settlers with a passion for authentic Mexican food.  The company has expanded to three manufacturing sites and employs over 200. Solis Foods Corp. produces superior products for food service, private labels and retail markets.

Bonduelle – Middlesex County. Bonduelle is a global leader in the frozen vegetable industry. The company established a processing and distributing plant in Middlesex County in order to freeze vegetables just a few hours after harvest and capture freshness at its peak.

Cavendish Appetizers – Windsor-Essex. Cavendish Farms invested in Windsor-Essex in 2009 and currently employs 135 people at its coated appetizer processing facility. The recent addition of new processing and packaging lines as well as new products have solidified the company's presence in the region.

Ferrero Canada Ltd. /Ltée – Brantford. Ferrero Canada is investing a further $36-million in state-of-the-art automated manufacturing equipment and machines. Upon completion, the new Brantford facility will be 1,500,000 sq.ft. in size with fixed assets exceeding $450 million, producing chocolate and confectionary products for export across North America, Australia and Mexico.

Vincor Canada – Niagara. Vincor International expands Niagara Falls processing facility. The purchase of a continuous membrane press enables the production of more Ontario-made wine using state-of-the-art processing equipment. The investment secures over 100 jobs and requires an extra 4,000 tonnes of grapes from Niagara producers.

Dr. Oetker Canada – London. Dr. Oetker Canada ranks in the top five subsidiaries for the German-based company, operating in over 35 countries. London's new frozen pizza production facility will be the hub for all North American operations.

Dare Foods – Waterloo Region. Over 115 years of history in this region, Dare is a leading producer of crackers, cookies and snacks. Dare products are available in over 25 countries around the world.

Clovermead Bees and Honey – Elgin County. Clovermead produces 36,000 pounds of honey annually, supplies the food industry with large quantities of dry and fresh frozen bee pollen and during the summer moves hives into fields for the pollination of berries. The operation produces value-added honey spreads and offers interactive farm displays and tours.

Loblaws – Mississauga. Long a staple of the Canadian landscape, Mississauga-based food retailer Loblaws has confirmed that they are planning to expand aggressively into the high-end food market segment. These expansions are confirmed for August 2015, and will cost upwards of $1 billion. This move will make Mississauga the centre of premium food within Canada.

Ontario's agri-food sector successes include strategic R&D initiatives

The Canadian Federal Government and the Government of Ontario are both active players in the province’s innovation economy, and agri-food is no exception.

On April 1, 2013, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's new federal-provincial-territorial initiative representing a $3 billion investment, known as Growing Forward 2: 2013-2018, comes into effect to enhance innovation, competitiveness and market development in provincial agriculture, agri-food, fish and seafood sectors.

The province of Ontario supports its world-class education system, highly skilled workforce, creative environment and diverse culture. For the Ontario Food Cluster, that means government support for: