Ontario farmers are expected to gain opportunities to supply PepsiCo’s Quaker Chewy Bar facility at Peterborough as the province funds new production equipment at the plant.
The province on Monday pledged up to $750,000 from its Rural Economic Development program to PepsiCo Foods Canada and the Greater Peterborough Area Economic Development Corp. for the project.
The funding and new equipment are expected to “enhance” production of peanut-free Quaker Chewy granola bars and ensure the Peterborough plant’s “long-term viability.”
It’s also expected to “provide opportunities to Ontario farmers to provide ingredients for this new product,” the province said in its release.
A provincial spokesperson said the improvements will help ensure the snacks are made using Ontario production.
“The investment in the production of Peanut-free Quaker Chewy Bars in Peterborough is good news for agriculture, potential new employees and for the area economy in general,” Andy Mitchell, CEO of the local economic development corporation, said in the province’s release.
Plant manager Diane Richard also described the development as “a great boost for farmers in Peterborough, for our plant and for the local economy. With the government’s much-needed support, we are not only protecting local jobs, but also the livelihoods of the farmers who supply us with their products.”
“Our community has the skilled labour and local grown materials that an outstanding business like this one needs to thrive,” Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal said in the same release.
Quaker’s Chewy bars, using granola made from rolled oats, rolled whole wheat and honey, are all made in peanut-free facilities, the company said.