Heinz reaches tentative deal on Leamington tomato plant

Part of teh facility will likely stay open

The province says Heinz signing a deal to keep jobs in Leamington is great news.

The company has announced says it has reached a tentative agreement with Highbury Canco Corporation to sell its tomato processing plant in the area.

Earlier this week, Newstalk 1010 learned Heinz will be making the agreement in principle public today.

This would keep the factory open for juice production.

After Heinz announced in November that the plant would be closed this summer, there were worries the local economy in Leamington would have been devastated. Both 800 workers were expected to be laid off and tomato farmers would have been hit hard.

The tentative deal would save between 30-40 per cent of the workforce slated to be laid off.

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  1. Peter posted on 02/27/2014 09:38 AM
    800 people put out of work in a small community is of course devastating.
    I wonder if the employees have always had some sort of backup plan in case this would ever happen.

    If radical changes in weather patterns affect tomato farming then that could maybe somehow give an advantage to Leamington, where it could be capable of more yield, versus other regions having reduced output.

    I know that a lot of tomatoes come from China, - its probably used in the sauce on the pizza you buy, I'm not sure.

    Anyway, the Mayor there says Heinz told him: "It will be a good day"

    1. 123123 posted on 02/27/2014 12:58 PM
      @Peter If our tomatoes aren't coming from Ontario they are coming from California. I've never seen a chinese tomato and I'm not certain I really want to. Those tomatoes/tomato products that china does make get exported to places like Japan and the EU, not so much Canada/the US.
    2. Peter posted on 02/27/2014 01:53 PM
      @123123 .
      OK , thanks 123123
      The tomato paste is in large blue drums. You can google it and see what I mean. I've seen the drums in Canada, so I just thought that would be the thing to import to keep pizza costs low, which they are, - and who would know where the sauce and peperoni came from. So guess I meant tomato paste, not whole tomatoes.

    3. dama posted on 02/27/2014 02:16 PM
      @123123 You will be surprised that China export their vegetables, fish and all other products, and that includes tomatoes..
  2. HP posted on 02/27/2014 01:12 PM
    Ontario's tomato season lasts only a few months...tough to keep a plant working at capacity in January. And, yes, China is a major exporter of agricultural products to North America...they almost wiped out our apple industry, it's cheaper to bring in Chinese apples than to pay what our farmers need to grow them here.

    Called the Walmart Syndrome.
    1. Angry Bill posted on 02/27/2014 04:06 PM
      @HP That's pretty scary, HP. I grew up on a farm in Ontario. I know what Ontario apples taste like, minus the chemicals. If people in Canada don't care if they eat apples from China or not, then I feel really sad for them that they have never had a good apple in their life to compare it to.

      As can be expected, I'm pretty picky about the sorts of fruits and vegetables I eat. I always buy local when available, and minimize when they're not.
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