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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: 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 and these:

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.

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. The industrial division is expanding its North American food and confectionary manufacturing facility. Construction of a new 495,000 square foot warehousing and distribution centre is underway and will be fully commissioned by 2013 to accommodate Ferrero's 15 year projected growth plan.

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.

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: