Leamington's Highbury Canco tripled business, renews deal with Heinz

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Highbury Canco has renewed a multi-year agreement with Kraft Heinz Canada and has tripled business since forming months after the November 2013 Heinz closure announcement

“I think we’ve by far exceeded our expectations in terms of growth, in terms of what we could have dreamed of five years ago, to think that we’ve tripled in size,” Sam Diab, President and CEO of Highbury Canco, said Thursday. “We’re on a good trajectory and we just want to keep that going.”

The focus was on survival when a consortium of investors formed Highbury Canco, bought the Leamington plant, and secured a five-year agreement to make Heinz products in 2014, said Diab, who is one of four owners.

A second, multi-year agreement was announced this week and was said to be worth about $1 billion in the retail value of the products.

In 2014, Highbury Canco started with 250 employees. With seasonal workers the plant employs more than 800 people and by the end of the tomato harvest in October Diab expects there will be 650 full-time workers. That’s edging closer to the more than 700 people Heinz employed when it announced the plant would close. [ Read More ]