Brantford is home to 18 food manufacturing operations which employ approximately 2,800 people in the community (PDF). Collectively, these companies have defined the area as a significant food processing cluster by the Province of Ontario and represent an integral part of the local employment base. From a sector standpoint, both new ventures and facility expansions continue to inject invesment dollars back into the local community as food manufacturers capitalize on the area's large employee talent pool, competitive wages, easy access to suppliers, central geographic location and proximity to plentiful agricultural commodities. The importance of this vital sector to the local economy has garnered recent attention from the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie who produced a report on Food Manufacturing in Grand Erie (PDF)
Recent Sector Investments
Grissin Bon Limited: An Italian based, family owned food manufacturer built their first North American facility-35,045 square feet on 3.85 acres at 43 Roy Blvd. The company specializes in the production of breadsticks, rusks and crackers. Total investment in the first phase is approx. $7.5 million, employing 15 people and is anticipated to be operational by Q3 2015. A second phase is expected to meet forecasted growth, resulting in the facility expanding to approximately 90,000+ square feet, employing 45.
Ferrero Canada Ltd.: Invested $36-million in state-of-the-art automated manufacturing equipment and machinery by installing four new lines and hiring an additional 55 full time workers in 2014. The new lines leverage Ferrero's Nutella and Tic Tac brands, launching a new range of products. Upon completion, the Brantford facility will be 1,500,000 square feet in size with fixed assets exceeding $450 million and produce chocolate and confectionery products that are exported in all of North America, Australia and Mexico.
Wing’s Food Products: A major Canadian manufacturer of condiments for the entire food service industry, specializing in portion controlled products established a new food processing, packaging and distribution facility in Brantford. The company has purchased the 109,000 square foot former Strub’s Pickles facility at 100 Roy Blvd and production commenced in Q1 2014. The company will initially employ 45 people on 3 shifts in processing and 10 in distribution, with an estimated additional 40 production workers to be added in the near future. Total capital investment is estimated to be approximately $10-million.
Goodness Me! Natural Food Market: Invested $3.5 million to open its first dedicated distribution centre at 37 Woodyat Drive in 2014. The company purchased a 60,400 square foot industrial building that will allow them to purchase and distribute more locally grown food and supply their five Southern Ontario stores. When fully operational the new centre will employ 35 employees with growth to 50+ as it scales up. Within the next two years a commissary will be added, where fresh foods will be prepared for sale in their stores. The company employs 250 in total at its five current stores and plans to open 5 more through 2015.
Great Lakes Milling: Consolidated its food processing operations from Maple and Whitby, Ontario to Brantford at 370 Elgin Street in 2014. The company is engaged in a variety of food related manufacturing - including flour milling, sugar packaging and cake mix blending. The facility will operates 3 shifts, employing approximately 25 people in total.
A Partner in The Ontario Food Cluster
The Ontario Food Cluster builds international trade and investment opportunities for its expanding 3,200-company agri-food sector. These companies have manufacturing revenue of $34 billion, including $9.9 billion of exports, and employ 130,000 people directly in agri-food processing/manufacturing and wholesaling and another nearly 483,000 workers in related sectors. Combined,Ontario's agri-food innovators and employees have built the province's stellar reputation for reliable, sustainable sources of agricultural raw materials, state-ofthe-art automated food processing methods, and world-class food safety standards. Ontario Food Cluster southern Ontario cities and regions include Chatham-Kent, City of Brantford, City of Hamilton, City of London, County of Middlesex, Greater Toronto Area, City of Guelph, Niagara Region, Sarnia-Lambton, Southwest Economic Alliance,Southwestern Ontario Marketing Alliance, Waterloo Region and Windsor-Essex. The Cluster also partners with the Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; Agriculture and AgriFood Canada (AAFC) and Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
Click to open a brochure on Ontario's Agri-Food Industry (PDF)
For more information on The Ontario Food Cluster, Visit their website