Government bets big on food processing sector
Hector Macmillan, Northumberland County Warden, said the Ontario Niche Food Processing Facility’s growth supports the county’s efforts to grow food business in the area.
“By supporting agriculture, technology, business innovation and attraction it creates a center for regional local food,” he said.
The Ontario Niche Food Processing Facility will support local farmers and food producers by providing a growth outlet for fruit and vegetables grown in the region. By giving producers various methods to process their wares, the facility will help them expand the market and availability of their foodstuffs.
The facility, estimated to stretch out over 15,000 sq. ft., will provide small-batch processing, packaging services, storage, refrigeration and freezing. Additionally, the plant will offer educational and meeting spaces to support local food firms in employee attraction and workforce development.
Wendy Curtis, executive director of the Northumberland Community Future Development Corp. said that surrounding agencies, seeing the value in the facility and potential benefit to area commerce, are backing its construction. Several local CFDCs have joined the Northumberland CFDC contribution for equipment purchases.
The Northumberland Niche Food Processing Facility is under construction. Officials estimate the facility will be completed and open for business in spring 2014. The government’s support of the facility is the latest in a wave of government- and business-backed efforts to attract and develop food processing business in the Ontario region.