Major expansion for Lakeside Produce
By Dave Harrison
Feb. 3, 2016, Leamington, Ont. — Ontario is partnering with Lakeside Produce Inc. to expand the company’s Leamington plant, creating 203 new jobs and retaining 312 positions.
Lakeside grows, ships and markets top quality vegetables including bell peppers, cucumbers and specialty tomatoes. The company is committed to food safety, sustainable operations and using innovative technology for packaging and distribution.
With more than $1 million from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, Lakeside Produce will expand its facility to meet increased demand from major retail customers. (Click on images for more information.)
The project has a total value of almost $7 million and is expected to be completed by the fall of 2019.
“At Lakeside we know the value of providing smart, healthy choices to our growing consumer base,” said Chris Cervini, president and CEO, Lakeside Produce.
“We take pride in our passion for producing top quality products and we welcome this partnership with the Ontario government. We share a vision of bringing fresh, locally grown produce to the people of our province and our export partners.”
DEEP INDUSTRY ROOTS
Lakeside has been in the greenhouse business since 1943. Its customers include large retail chains, club stores and food service distributors.
“Lakeside is a leader in developing innovative new technologies to distribute top quality produce,” said Brad Duguid, minister of economic development, employment and infrastructure.
“Companies like Lakeside are growing our economy by providing good jobs and strengthening our exports.”
The funds typically cover up to 15 per cent of eligible project costs, with the recipient company funding the remainder from its own resources. This leveraging of private sector investment provides enhanced value for taxpayers.
“Leamington is well known for producing high quality vegetables and being an economic hub for Ontario’s agri-food sector,” said Jeff Leal, minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs. “The modernized plant will help support the creation of new jobs, retain jobs and grow Leamington’s economy to develop new opportunities for the local community and its members.”
Since October 2012, Ontario has invested over $80 million through the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, leveraging a total investment of more than $900 million. These investments have helped to create over 3,500 new jobs and retain more than 18,500 existing jobs in the region.