Expansion at Highbury Canco, that created 170 jobs in Leamington, nears completion
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Media Release: Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
Minister Mélanie Joly announces financial contribution that boosted growth of major local employer and strengthened Ontario’s supply chain
Founded in 2014, Highbury Canco Corporation (HCC) is a Canadian manufacturing and distribution company for food and beverage products, focused on quality, innovation and efficiency. Now one of the area’s largest employers, the company is nearing completion of a $16.8-million expansion at its 2.1-million square-foot facility.
Enhanced production capabilities, reduced environmental impact
Through this expansion, HCC has been able to position itself as one of the first food processors in Canada to use high-speed automated manufacturing technology by installing state-of-the-art equipment for two new packaging and processing lines. This new equipment has doubled production speed and is reducing waste, water consumption and emissions, improving energy efficiency by 50 percent.
HCC is now manufacturing 11 new products, using high-speed, high-efficiency technology capable of filling glass and plastic containers for North America’s largest food companies. With a commitment to sustainability, the company uses 100 percent recyclable glass and plastic containers and packaging for its new product lines.
Today, during a tour of southwestern Ontario, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, along with Parliamentary Secretary Kate Young, visited HCC and announced that FedDev Ontario provided $3.6 million towards HCC’s expansion project.
Creating jobs locally with supply chain benefits
With the help of the Government of Canada, HCC has created 170 full-time food processing jobs, and the company has grown to about 650 full-time employees and 200 seasonal workers.
Local supply chain spending has also increased, with the purchase of tomatoes from local growers expected to increase from 135 to 155 tonnes per year by 2022. Additionally, HCC was able to diversify its product offerings and strengthen its export performance within North America.
“Highbury Canco Corporation is an excellent example of a rural manufacturer scaling up its production capacity to reach new markets, and we are here to help. This company is strengthening the local supply chain and creating jobs in Leamington, as well as contributing to a healthier environment with adoption of clean technologies and use of recyclable products.”
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
“Today’s tour allowed me to see one of this area’s largest employers in action. Through FedDev Ontario’s investment, we have been able to not only support our local workers and local industries, but we are also driving economic growth across our region.”
- Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario)
“As the manufacturer of Canada’s leading brands of pasta sauce, salsa, beans, vinegar, infant cereal and many others, Highbury Canco has built a reputation of quality and excellence in our field. We are proud of our heritage and the growth that has occurred over the past five years. With the support of FedDev Ontario, we have added more capabilities, enabling our employment levels to surge to 650 full-time employees.”
- Sam Diab, President and Co-Owner, Highbury Canco Corporation
- Leamington is widely known as the “tomato capital of Canada” and over 60 percent of Ontario’s greenhouses can be found in the Leamington area.
- With 24 production lines in operation, HCC produces a range of food products marketed under various brands for North America’s largest food companies.
- FedDev Ontario’s repayable contribution is towards a total project cost of $16.8 million, leveraging over $13.1 million in other investment.
- FedDev Ontario recognizes the vital role rural communities play in the region’s economy, as demonstrated by an initial $100 million allocation for projects that drive innovation and growth in rural communities.
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages