By Dani-Elle Dubé, January 14, 2021, Ottawa Business Journal
Several food processors have invested millions of dollars into their Cornwall operations in recent years, capitalizing on the proximity to major urban markets and propelling the industry into one of the city’s largest employers.
Among the major players are Leclerc, maker of the well-known Celebration line of cookies as well as snack bars. The Quebec-based firm recently doubled the capacity of its 160,000-square-foot Cornwall facility with the installation of a new production line, according to the city.
The investment means Leclerc will be able to produce some 2,200 bars every minute at its Cornwall plant, where it employs 60 staff and is looking to continue hiring.
“Our location is ideal for food processing,” says Bob Peters, division manager of economic development at the City of Cornwall. “Both Cornwall and Eastern Ontario are in that triangle of three of central Canada’s largest metropolitan areas – Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa – so as a food processor you’re within a region that allows you quick and easy access to deliver your products to consumers.”
Ontario’s food and beverage manufacturing sector ranks as the third-largest in North America, according to the province, generating revenues of more than $35 billion – a healthy proportion of which comes from Eastern Ontario, which has several competitive advantages.
A 2016 study, published by Ontario East Economic Development, found that the region had the lowest operating costs for food and beverage manufacturers among 24 North American regions. Eastern Ontario also offers manufacturers several other advantages, according to the report, including secure and stable sources of water, a skilled workforce and easy access to markets in North America and beyond.