Highbury CanCo Hires Tomato Farmers to Feed Leamington Plant

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

CBC News

Several tomato farmers have signed contracts to grow for Highbury CanCo, the company that will produce Heinz tomato products in Leamington, Ont.

Wayne Palichuk used to grow tomatoes directly for Heinz, which will cease operations in Leamington in June.

He recently signed a contract to grow for Highbury CanCo, which is to become a co-packer for Heinz beginning at the end of June.

"It’s great. I have a younger son that wants to take over the farm. This is a good chance for him to carry on. It’s all positive," he said.

Palichuk will grow 100 acres of tomatoes for Highbury CanCo.

"That is just about full production for what we used to do for H.J. Heinz," he said.

Palichuk estimates there are 10 farmers who have signed on to grow for CanCo Highbury. That's down from the 43 who used to grow for Heinz.

"There are 43 excellent growers in the area," Palichuk said. "Their objective is to have them all back one day, maybe."

Sam Diab, president of Highbury CanCo and former plant manager at Heinz, confirmed the company has contracted 10 farmers. [Read More]