FedDev Ontario feeds growth in southern Ontario’s agri-food sector
More than $2.5 million for two agri-food manufacturers to expand facilities, scale up production and create over 65 skilled jobs
August 12, 2020 — Orangeville, Ontario
Canada’s farmers and agri-food producers have been hit hard by COVID-19. The Government of Canada has taken significant action to help them through this difficult period, and it is committed to giving them the tools they need to be part of our economic recovery and emerge from it stronger and more competitive than before. Innovation is essential to making this a reality, which is why the government is working closely with producers and organizations to help them create jobs and increase production.
Federal support to help agri-food manufacturers in southern Ontario create jobs and increase production
Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario), on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, today announced a total FedDev Ontario investment of more than $2.5 million to support the scale-up and growth of two leading food manufacturers in southern Ontario: Florentina Foods and Terra Cotta Foods Ltd.
Florentina Foods is a manufacturer of a range of frozen entrée products for large-scale retail and food service clients throughout North America—providing a full-service approach, from recipe development, to production and packaging, to transportation. As demand continues to rise for a greater variety of products from new market segments (i.e., health food products) and geographic markets, Florentina Foods is establishing a new custom-built 55,000-square-foot facility in Orangeville. With a $2-million repayable contribution from FedDev Ontario, the company will install two new state-of-the-art production lines with fully automated and energy-efficient equipment. Once the facility is fully operational (scheduled for late summer 2020), Florentina Foods expects to more than double its production capacity from 60,000 meals per day to up to 150,000 meals per day. This project will also allow the company to add a 600-square-foot research and development lab and test-kitchen to formulate new products.
Florentina Foods expects to create 50 full-time jobs in the Orangeville community, which will double its workforce and more than double agri-food supply chain spending, with the majority of ingredients and supplies sourced within southern Ontario. This investment will also leverage $6 million in additional investment in the Orangeville community.
Terra Cotta Foods Ltd. (Terra Cotta) is a food processor specializing in peanut-and nut-free cookies and snacks, known for its ability to produce traditional, kosher and gluten-free products, including cookies, cookie dough, granola and ice-cream sandwiches. Today, Terra Cotta, which operates from its 32,000-square-foot peanut-free and nut-free Georgetown facility, manufactures products for over 2,000 schools across Ontario and most major Canadian retailers. With a nearly $535,000-repayable contribution from FedDev Ontario, Terra Cotta is upgrading its facility with leading-edge advanced bakery production equipment, making improvements to packaging and cold storage equipment, and implementing new software solutions to streamline operations. As a result, Terra Cotta can focus on scaling up capacity of its ice-cream sandwich production line to capitalize on immediate demands from large global retailers and future plans to grow and diversify its product offering.
Terra Cotta Foods Ltd. anticipates creating 16 new full-time manufacturing and technician jobs in Georgetown, and more than doubling its supply chain purchases of dairy products from regional suppliers. This investment will also leverage nearly $1 million in additional investment in Georgetown.
Today’s announcement is further proof of the Government of Canada’s commitment to Canadian farmers and agri-food businesses – helping them not just survive, but thrive. Investments like these will help get Canadians back to work and ensure that our agricultural sector can play a major role in Canada’s economic recovery.
“Florentina Foods and Terra Cotta Foods are excellent examples of how agri-food manufacturers are scaling up production to expand capacity and meet growing demand. These FedDev Ontario investments support two companies which are strengthening the local supply chain and creating jobs in the Orangeville and Georgetown communities.”
- Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario)
“The wellbeing of all Canadians – physically, socially and economically – begins with a safe food supply. Southern Ontario’s agri-food manufacturers, such as Florentina Foods and Terra Cotta Foods, offer great potential for economic growth and diversification. The FedDev Ontario investments announced today will support business scale-up, productivity improvements and increased supply chain benefits across the region. We will continue to be there to help our vital sectors come back stronger than ever.”
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
“Florentina Foods has been manufacturing frozen meals for over 20 years and throughout this time has always strived for excellence in every way. We are proud to be able to take this next step in our business and establish our new facility in Orangeville. With the help of FedDev Ontario, we were able to accomplish our goals of expansion, innovation and modernization, which in turn will contribute to the local industry and economy. We would like to thank the team at FedDev for their involvement and invaluable support.”
- Noumi Dvir, Co-founder and Chief Financial Officer, Florentina Foods
“Since 2012, we have grown over 200 percent and it is all due to the hard work of the dedicated team that makes up Terra Cotta Foods Ltd. With strong growth comes the need to innovate in order to increase efficiencies and capacity to keep pace with that growth. Having the support of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario is a key piece to facilitating our future growth.”
- Jason Brass, President and Owner, Terra Cotta Foods Ltd.
Ontario’s agri-food sector supports more than 837,000 jobs across the province and contributes more than $47.5 billion each year to the regional economy.
Established in 1997, Florentina Foods manufactures frozen entrée products in single serving trays, bowls, and family size formats for large retailers in Canada and the United States. The company is committed to a diverse workforce—about 60 percent of Florentina Foods’ employees are female.
Established in 1984, Terra Cotta Foods Ltd. has contributed to the Halton Hills community for over 35 years, beginning as a small baking operation serving a strong school customer base out of a 5,000-square-foot facility in Georgetown. The team has since grown from 12 to over 50 long tenured employees and has completed three expansion projects.
In 2019, Canadian Business and Maclean’s listed Terra Cotta Foods Ltd. on the Growth 500: Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies 2019 list.
Since November 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested over $106 million in nearly 50 agri-food projects across southern Ontario. Since May 2020, FedDev Ontario has provided nearly $4.7 million of relief funding to 25 SMEs in the agri-food sector through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund.
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