Ontario: Expansion at Highbury Canco nears completion
- François-Xavier Branthôme
CAD 16.8 million expansion to enhance production capabilities and reduce environmental impact
Founded in 2014 from the former Heinz’ plant, Highbury Canco Corporation (HCC) is a Canadian manufacturing and distribution company for food and beverage products, focused on quality, innovation and efficiency. In September last year, Highbury Canco has renewed a multi-year agreement with Kraft Heinz Canada and has tripled business since forming months after the November 2013 Heinz closure announcement. The company is now one of the area’s largest employers, and is nearing completion of a CAD 16.8 million expansion at its 2.1-million square-foot (195,000 m²) facility.
Through this expansion, HCC has been able to position itself as one of the first food processors in Canada to use high-speed automated manufacturing technology by installing state-of-the-art equipment for two new packaging and processing lines. This new equipment has doubled production speed and is reducing waste, water consumption and emissions, improving energy efficiency by 50 percent.
“As the manufacturer of Canada’s leading brands of pasta sauce, salsa, beans, vinegar, infant cereal and many others, Highbury Canco has built a reputation of quality and excellence in our field. We are proud of our heritage and the growth that has occurred over the past five years. With the support of FedDev Ontario, we have added more capabilities, enabling our employment levels to surge to 650 full-time employees”, explained Sam Diab, President and Co-Owner, Highbury Canco Corporation.
HCC is now manufacturing eleven new products, using high-speed, high-efficiency technology capable of filling glass and plastic containers for North America’s largest food companies. With 24 production lines in operation, HCC produces a range of food products marketed under various brands for North America’s largest food companies. With a commitment to sustainability, the company uses 100% recyclable glass and plastic containers and packaging for its new product lines.
On 13 February, Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, visited HCC and announced that Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) provided CAD 3.6 million towards HCC’s expansion project. FedDev Ontario’s repayable contribution is towards a total project cost of CAD 16.8 million, leveraging over CAD 13.1 million in other investment. “Highbury Canco Corporation is an excellent example of a rural manufacturer scaling up its production capacity to reach new markets, and we are here to help. This company is strengthening the local supply chain and creating jobs in Leamington, as well as contributing to a healthier environment with adoption of clean technologies and use of recyclable products”, said The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.
With the help of the Government of Canada, HCC has created 170 full-time food processing jobs, and the company has grown to about 650 full-time employees and 200 seasonal workers.
Local supply chain spending has also increased, with the purchase of tomatoes from local growers expected to increase from 135.000 to 155.000 tonnes per year by 2022. Additionally, HCC was able to diversify its product offerings and strengthen its export performance within North America.
Sources: Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, canada.ca, miragenews.com
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