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Dr. Oetker joins Ontario’s $39 billion agri-food sector

By Stephen Daniells , 29-Oct-2012

German frozen pizza giant Dr. Oetker has announced the construction of a new facility in Canada, the latest company to join the Ontario Food Cluster.

The company will employ 120 full-time people, and will contribute an estimated $26 million a year to Ontario’s economy when the plant opens in 2014.

“Dr. Oetker’s expansion is the latest example of the Ontario Food Cluster’s compelling draw to international food processing firms,” said Barbara Maly, Chair of the Ontario Food Cluster.

Speaking with FoodNavigator-USA, Maly said that the region already boasts a number of industry heavyweights, including General Mills, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Kraft, Maple Leaf, Quaker, and Heinz.

The Southern Ontario region boasts a highly skilled workforce via two colleges, a world-class university, and over 20 vocational schools. Strategic highway, rail and shipping transportation links feed into North America’s most populous region, she said.

In the case of Dr. Oetker, FedDev Ontario is contributing $10 million through its Prosperity Initiative for construction and equipment costs while Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is providing $2 million through its AgriProcessing Initiative to help in the purchase of food processing equipment to make frozen pizzas.

The cluster was formed in 2011 and benefits from being in the Province of Ontario - the continent’s second-largest food and beverage processing jurisdiction behind Chicago.

Dr. Oetker Canada Ltd. is expected to make up to a maximum of 50 million pizzas a year out of its new plant in the city of London, Ontario, which will require an estimated 11 million kilograms of agricultural products.

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