Thomas’ Utopia Brand: Local Processor Signs Training Agreement with Nigeria

Monday, October 6, 2014

Media Advisory: Thomas Canning

(October 6, 2014) Maidstone, ON - Thomas Canning signed a contract with the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to provide food safety training workshops via their National Agency For Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). Barrister Kingsley Ejiofor, head of the Legal division of NAFDAC, travelled to Windsor to sign as witness on behalf of the Director General NAFDAC. The contract was signed at Douglas Marketing Group on Monday. NAFDAC is the latest organization to back Utopia Tomatoes and their growing presence in Nigeria. This training announcement is in addition the $25 Million export agreement with Nigerian distributor, Festrut Group, announced last spring.

Nigerian business owners and food handlers travelling to Windsor-Essex to take food safety courses to bring the knowledge back home to Nigeria is only the first phase of the announced training program. The training agreement will include site visits in Nigeria and Canada, as well as an inclusive training website developed by Douglas Marketing Group. The team will be reviewing the Windsor designed and programmed online training tool, to prepare for launch in Nigeria later this year. The online program will test and train workers in the hospitality industry and other food preparation sectors to practice safe food handling with the completion of a course and certificate.



The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is a Nigerian Government Agency under the Federal Ministry of Health that is responsible for regulating and controlling the manufacture, importation, exportation, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, chemicals and packaged water.

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About Utopia

Thomas Canning has been processing and canning tomatoes in the Essex County area since 1933 when Will and Grace Thomas started the company with their sons Grant and Wilbur. Back then; everything was done by hand, from planting to harvesting. As time passed and new technologies became available, like mechanical handling, the tomato business saw an increase of field and factory productivity. Growers started managing larger land plots, yields increased and Thomas Canning thrived.

Thomas Canning remains a family-owned business, with the third generation of Thomas’ in charge of operations. These days, we’re focused on addressing the demand for environmental accountability and integrity through sustainable field and factory practices. We’re working to pioneer the growth of Ontario processed tomato products to the organic sector globally. To this day we are still providing consumers with high quality products with food safety and quality as our paramount goals.  Currently, Utopia products are sold globally in Nigeria, China and throughout Canada.

For more information about Thomas Canning visit

Media Contact:
Paul Schlosser - 519-258-1858 ext. 35