Harper Government Supports Jobs and Growth in London

LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 24, 2012) - Thanks in part to a $12-million investment by the Government of Canada, Dr. Oetker will bring made-in-London frozen pizzas to North American markets and create over 300 jobs in the London area in the process. The announcement was made today by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), accompanied by Joe Preston, Member of Parliament for Elgin-Middlesex-London.

"With our investment, over 300 new jobs will be created here in the London area, and the new facility, warehouse and distribution centre will ensure that products from southern Ontario reach markets throughout North America," said Minister Goodyear. "These contributions are enhancing the competitive advantage of the region and creating hundreds of new jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for our communities."

"Our government's investment in Dr. Oetker is supporting a key driver of southern Ontario's economic growth: the food and beverage industry," said MP Preston. "This investment is another example of how our government is standing behind our manufacturing sector to bring new economic opportunities to London and the surrounding area."

Dr. Oetker has selected London as the home of its first North American frozen pizza manufacturing and warehouse facility, in which the company will invest $113 million. FedDev Ontario will add $10 million through its Prosperity Initiative for construction and equipment costs, while Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will provide $2 million through its AgriProcessing Initiative (API) to help the company buy food processing equipment to make frozen pizzas.

This project is anticipated to create hundreds of direct jobs during construction and once the facility is operational, as well as hundreds of indirect jobs with the local suppliers and processors that will provide Dr. Oetker with ingredients and packaging materials. For example, the company will buy significant amounts of Canadian agricultural products, such as flour, cheese, tomato sauce and meat toppings, helping boost demand for the products of Ontario's farmers. In fact, this project's economic impact on southern Ontario is projected at $14.4 million during the project and $25.9 million annually after project completion.

"We are pleased to have been able to work closely with officials from FedDev Ontario and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada," said Dr. Christian F. von Twickel, Executive Vice President of Dr. Oetker Canada Ltd. "We are delighted to be able to participate in today's announcement and thank the federal government for the financial support provided to Dr. Oetker Canada for this project. As a fourth generation family-owned and run business, we are excited to be expanding our operations in Canada and creating many new jobs in London."

For more information on this project and the Prosperity Initiative and the AgriProcessing Initiative, please see the backgrounder.

The investment announced today supports the Government of Canada's science, technology, and innovation agenda, which is focused on increasing the country's productivity, creating jobs and growing the economy.

Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region's strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. The Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to encourage partnerships and support projects that help the region's businesses and communities become more competitive, innovative and diversified. To learn more, please visit www.feddevontario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.

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This news release is available online at: www.actionplan.gc.ca.


Contribution to Dr. Oetker Canada

FedDev Ontario is providing Dr. Oetker Canada with a repayable contribution of up to $10 million through its Prosperity Initiative. This investment will allow Dr. Oetker Canada to purchase equipment and secure engineering, planning and project management expertise to build its new frozen pizza manufacturing facility and warehouse.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is providing a repayable contribution of up to $2 million to Dr. Oetker through its AgriProcessing Initiative (API) to help the company buy food processing equipment for its new facility. This equipment will include ovens, freezers and machinery for making toppings, preparing dough and packaging.

This project is anticipated to create 318 full-time equivalent jobs: of these, 198 will be created during construction, followed by the creation of 120 permanent jobs once the facility is operational. In addition, local supply chains, including agri-food processors and packaging suppliers and processors, and the cold chain logistics' network, are expected to benefit from the operation of this facility. For example, Dr. Oetker Canada anticipates requiring approximately 11 million kilograms of ingredients and over 5 million kilograms of packaging annually.

Dr. Oetker Canada also expects to significantly reduce its carbon footprint by eliminating overseas shipments of 75,000 pizzas per day and by building an environmentally-friendly facility.

Overall, these investments will ensure the company becomes more competitive in the North American market.

For more information on Dr. Oetker, please visit http://www.oetker.ca.

Prosperity Initiative

FedDev Ontario's Prosperity Initiative is designed to encourage businesses, not-for-profit organizations and post-secondary institutions in southern Ontario to undertake projects that will result in a more productive, diversified and competitive economy in the region.

Funding is available for projects that:

  • enhance productivity by accelerating the adoption of new technologies, processes and skills to enhance businesses and sectors in southern Ontario to achieve higher output in relation to their investments;
  • diversify the regional economy by increasing the number of new industries or opportunities in southern Ontario communities or regions with the potential to have long-term impacts on their economic diversity; and
  • build a competitive advantage for southern Ontario by building on the assets and strengths of southern Ontario businesses and regions to create or expand economic clusters and enhance their global competitiveness.

Applications for funding are being accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis. For more information and to apply, please refer to the program guidelines available on the website at www.feddevontario.gc.ca.

AgriProcessing Initiative

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's AgriProcessing Initiative is a five-year (2009-14), up to $50 million initiative designed to enhance the competitiveness of the agri-processing sector in Canada. It provides support to existing companies for projects that involve the adoption of innovative and new-to-company manufacturing technologies and processes that are essential to sustaining and improving the sector's position in today's global marketplace. For more information on this program, visit www.agr.gc.ca/api.

Contact Information:

Michele-Jamali Paquette
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear

Meagan Murdoch
Director of Communications
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario