Ontario Supporting Food Processing Sector in Brantford

Ontario Supporting Food Processing Sector in Brantford
Ontario's hazelnut industry receives multiple investments (Oct 11, 2017)
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 4:03:30 EDT PM

var addthis_config = { ui_language: “en”, “data_ga_property”: UA1_ID, “data_track_clickback”: true } var addthis_share = { url_transforms : { add: { utm_source: ‘addThis’, utm_medium: ‘addthis_button_’+'{{code}}’, utm_campaign: document.title } } }London Centre MP Peter Fragiskatos, top centre, announced a $492,000 federal grant for hazelnut production at the University of Guelph research station in Simcoe Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. In front is Barbara Yates, an agronomist with Ferrero Canada in Brantford. At left is Dr. Wayne Caldwell of the University of Guelph while at right is Les High of the Ontario Hazelnut Association. MONTE SONNENBERG / SIMCOE REFORMERHazelnuts are delicious and nutritious out of the shell but also lend themselves to processing. Like almonds, they can be converted into flour, oils, milk and distilled products. Unlike almonds however, hazelnuts don’t require as much irrigation.

A family-owned company, Ferrero is the third-largest chocolate manufacturer in the world. It produces four main product lines – Nutella, Nutella and Go, Tic Tac and Ferrero Rocher.

"We are very proud to be the first Ferrero plant outside Europe to process raw cocoa beans and to produce the brand new Tic Tac gum for North America," said Fabrizio Secco, Ferrero Canada’s managing director.The funding will boost productivity at the plant and create 80 new jobs, while helping retain 1,000 other positions, Leal said.

Left to right: Barbara Yates, Ferrero Rocher, Andrew Nixon, Ontario Hazelnut Association, MP Peter Fragiskatos, Wayne Caldwell, University of Guelph, and Les High, Ontario Hazelnut Association.

The Ontario Hazelnut Association (OHA) will receive $492,052 through Growing Forward 2’s AgriInnovation Program. The funds will be used to enhance the development of hazelnut trees, develop strategies to mitigate drought stress and establish production techniques to multiply hazelnut plants for commercial use.The expansion will help Ferrero build a new cocoa bean processing plant, increase manufacturing capacities, implement new manufacturing processes and installing a new wastewater treatment system.

The project, among other things, will enable the company to produce a brand new Tic Tac gum for North America.

And the investment will help hazelnut producers achieve that goal.

Research into the production of hazelnut trees suited to this part of North America has been underway at the station since 2008. The funds will continue the quest for hazelnut strains that are resistant to disease and stand-up well to harsh winter weather.

Diego FlamminiNews ReporterFarms.com

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