Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

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CanGro to sell or shut two Ontario vegetable and fruit


March 7, 2008
By Fruit & Vegetable

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CanGro Foods, which produces fruit and vegetables in cans and jars under the Aylmer, Del Monte and Ideal names, plans to sell or close two processing plants in Ontario.

CanGro Foods, which produces fruit and vegetables in cans and jars under the Aylmer, Del Monte and Ideal names, plans to sell or close two processing plants in Ontario. CanGro, created two years ago when two American private equity firms took over five Canadian brands from Kraft Canada, said the plants in Exeter, north of London, and St. Davids, in the Niagara region, “will be sold or cease operations by March 31.” The company said 268 hourly paid employees and 27 salaried staff members could lose their jobs, along with an unspecified number of seasonal workers, if a buyer isn’t found. CanGro plans to shift to outsourcing its canned vegetable and fruit requirements. The company did not give a reason for outsourcing its canned food needs, but it has been streamlining operations to become more efficient. In addition, the rising Canadian dollar has made it more expensive to ship Canadian-processed foods to U.S. customers. CanGro’s move follows the company’s decision last summer to “enhance productivity and competitiveness” by shutting a plant that produced canned carrots and beans in Chambly, Que., southeast of Montreal. That closure, effective in November, eliminated 52 hourly and 10 salaried positions as well as 63 seasonal jobs. With the divestment or shutdown of the Exeter and St. Davids plants, CanGro will be left with a head office in Toronto, a technical centre in Burlington, Ont., and a plant at Dresden in southwestern Ontario.

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