An Ontario provincial economic development fund has topped up food firm Nestle’s plans for equipment upgrades at a processing plant supplying the foodservice sector.
The Nestle Professional wing of Nestle Canada will get a $1.5 million grant from the province’s $80 million Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF), toward the cost of the company’s $14.6 million equipment upgrade project at Trenton, Ont.
“This funding will help us to streamline our operations, reduce our environmental impact and support food safety as our top priority,” Trenton factory manager Michael Kuntz said in a provincial government release Monday.
Nestle’s $14.6 million budget includes both the purchase and installation of new equipment at Trenton along with “food safety items needed for the equipment,” the province said.
“This project will help ensure the long-term viability of this facility, and help to secure eastern Ontario’s position as a leader in the food processing industry,” local MPP Lou Rinaldi said in the release.
It’s also expected to help create 13 new jobs and retain 298 existing positions, the province said Monday.
The $1.5 million grant to Nestle Professional is the maximum available under the EODF, which can cover up to 15 per cent of eligible project costs.
Projects in the 13 counties stretching from Kawartha Lakes and Northumberland County in the west to the Ontario-Quebec border in the east, including the “rural area” around Ottawa, may be eligible for EODF funds.
Eligible costs generally relate to one-time expenditures toward a specific project, meant to advance a business and help it make a transition to “sustainable, new” operations.
Primary agriculture projects aren’t eligible for EODF grants, but projects that involve processing or value-added activities, “post-primary production,” would be eligible, according to the province.