News

Ferrero plant takes 'another big step'

Vincent Ball

By Vincent Ball, Brantford Expositor

Ontario Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal (left) chats with Ferrero Canada managing director Fabrizio Secco prior to a news conference on Wednesday. (Brian Thompson/The Expositor)

Ontario Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal (left) chats with Ferrero Canada managing director Fabrizio Secco prior to a news conference on Wednesday. (Brian Thompson/The Expositor)

Ferrero Canada Ltd. is getting $11 million from the provincial government to support a $90-million expansion project at the chocolate and confectionary manufacturer's Brantford plant.

The project, among other things, will enable the company to produce a brand new Tic Tac gum for North America.

The new product and the expansion project, which includes cocoa bean processing, were announced Wednesday at the plant.

"We are very proud to be the first Ferrero plant outside Europe to process raw cocoa beans and to produce the brand new Tic Tac gum for North America," said Fabrizio Secco, Ferrero Canada's managing director.

"Thanks to the continuous support of the Ontario government and to the strong commitment of the Ferrero group, the Brantford plant is taking another big step in our history.

"These projects are enabling us to create new jobs in our facility and also externally through our suppliers and partners within Brantford and the surrounding area."

The $90-million project includes construction of a new cocoa bean processing plant, increased manufacturing capacity for the Nutella and Go snack pack, the production of Tic Tac gum and the installation of a new wastewater treatment system.

The company was issued a $15-million building permit by the city in May to construct the new cocoa processing plant.

The provincial government's $11-million contribution to the project was announced by Jeff Leal, Ontario's Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

The funding will boost productivity at the plant and create 80 new jobs, while helping retain 1,000 other positions, Leal said.

"By partnering with food processing companies, like Ferrero Canada, we are not only supporting growth in Ontario's agri-food sector, we are boosting our economy and creating 80 good jobs in the Brantford community," Leal said in a statement.

Leal spoke about the importance of the agri-food sector and the food processing industry to the province.

Ontario is home to Canada's largest food processing sector which employs 94,500 people and contributes more than $37 billion to Ontario's gross domestic product, he said.

The $11 million is coming from the province's Jobs and Prosperity Fund - Food and Beverage Growth Fund. The fund supports food, beverage and bio-product manufacturing projects that help create and retain jobs, increase domestic and export market access and enhance innovation and productivity.

Ferrero last year received a $1.5-million boost from the provincial government to support a $36.1 million investment to expand product lines and pursue new markets.

A family-owned company, Ferrero is the third-largest chocolate manufacturer in the world. It produces four main product lines - Nutella, Nutella and Go, Tic Tac and Ferrero Rocher.

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