Heinz, Ontario Groups Partner To Spice Agri-Foods Exports

Compiled By Deborah Austin Through a public/private joint venture, Heinz Canada's Leamington, Ontario, plant has launched a new condiment production line expected to generate a $2 million revenue increase for Ontario tomato growers its first year. Eighty percent of the added production will be exported to U.S. food-service customers. Of pre-existing production, 20% had been exported to the U.S. The line -- producing new 100-ounce environmentally friendly plastic jugs as alternatives to currently used 100-ounce cans -- stems from a partnership of Heinz Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers. OMAFRA's Healthy Futures program -- which encourages Ontario's agri-food industry to capitalize on marketing and export opportunities -- invested $1.25 million. The added capacity -- 30,000 tons of tomatoes in the first year -- should bring Leamington's tomato use to nearly 300,000 tons. The new line incorporates a filler with automated clean-in-place system eliminating manual-cleaning downtime while switching between products. Heinz Canada is part of $9.4 billion food company H.J. Heinz Co., Pittsburgh.

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