Sector News

Dr. Oetker Canada to create 103 jobs, retain 115 after provincial investment

May 2, 2018
Consumer Packaged Goods

Ontario will be investing up to $7-million in London’s Dr. Oetker plant, allowing for the workforce to increase to 300 from roughly 200, and nearly doubling production.

Monday’s announcement will result in a new production line that includes dough preparation, baking, toppings, freezing, and packaging equipment and is expected to see production jump to 18,000 pizzas from 10,000.

“Capacity within the London plant is being built to bring in some of these high-speed frozen pizza manufacturing products,” London Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) CEO Kapil Lakhotia told 980 CFPL.

“It’ll allow the company to use these presses to manufacture both a smaller size of pizza that serves up to two, as well as a larger family size.”

The announcement comes exactly three months after Dr. Oetker Canada Ltd. announced it would be closing its Grand Falls, N.B., frozen pizza plant in May, impacting 180 jobs.

At the time, the company said 70 per cent of the manufacturing would move to London while the rest would move to a plant in New Jersey.

Speaking with 980 CFPL, Lakhotia was unable to confirm whether there was any connection between that announcement and Monday’s jobs announcement.

“I understand the facility in New Brunswick was outdated in terms of technology and automation, so certainly some of those products would come to London,” he said.

“I’m not sure about the timelines with this announcement and the New Brunswick facility.”

Lakhotia said the Dr. Oetker announcement is the latest in a string of announcements in London’s growing food and beverage processing cluster.

Ontario’s investment is through the Jobs and Prosperity Fund’s Good and Beverage Growth Fund. Dr. Oetker Canada Ltd. is a subsidiary of a German company, Oetker Group.

By Jacquelyn LeBel

Source: Global News Canada

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