Kellogg to expand central Ont. cereals plant

Breakfast cereal giant Kellogg Canada is budgeting $43 million to build an additional production line at its Mini-Wheats facility in central Ontario.

The Ontario government on Wednesday pledged $4.5 million toward the Belleville, Ont. project, which the company expects to have up and running by its fourth quarter of fiscal 2011.

According to the province, the project is expected to create about 40 new jobs and would feature “advanced food-manufacturing techniques making the Belleville plant among the most sophisticated in Kellogg’s worldwide operations.”

Kellogg invested about $100 million to build the plant at Belleville during 2007, starting production in January 2008. Belleville marked Kellogg’s first new manufacturing plant in Canada or the U.S. in over 20 years.

In recent months, according to Christine Lowry, Kellogg Canada’s vice-president of government and corporate affairs, the company has been exploring ways to add ready-to-eat cereal production capacity.

After a “thorough review” of the company’s manufacturing network and expansion options, Lowry said in a statement, the company found the most effective approach would be to use existing space at the 205,080-square-foot Belleville plant.

Construction will begin “as soon as possible,” she said.

“We hope to be able to move quickly to create the proposed manufacturing and distribution jobs in Belleville, which would be great news for our company, as well as the community,” Kellogg Canada president Carol Stewart said in the province’s release.

Mississauga-based Kellogg Canada operates just one other manufacturing plant, at London, Ont., where the Canada Corn Co. first held the rights to make and distribute Kellogg’s Corn Flakes for the Canadian market.

Kellogg bought direct control of the London plant in 1924, followed by a $223 million expansion there in the mid-1980s.

The company didn’t say whether the expansion at Belleville will include production of cereal products other than Mini-Wheats, a ready-to-eat cereal product made up of miniature whole-wheat biscuits.

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