Ont. corn processor backed to refit sugar plant

A former beet sugar processing plant in southwestern Ontario will be overhauled to process corn for the food processing industry.

Dover Corn Products on Wednesday picked up just under $300,000 from the province’s rural economic development program towards its renovations at the Chatham facility.

The building, according to various media reports, previously belonged to Redpath Sugar, which ran a beet sugar refinery at Chatham before it consolidated its operations in Toronto in 1980.

Dover plans to install “state-of-the-art” equipment to produce “high-end” corn products, the province said in its release. The facility is expected to allow the company’s business to expand and generate over $5.9 million in sales in the plant’s first year of operation, the province added.

The corn processing plant is also expected to source up to 6,000 acres of corn from local farmers, the province said.

Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Pat Hoy added in the province’s release that the Dover plant, once operating, is expected to create 13 new jobs.

It will also “provide other Ontario food processors with home-grown, high-quality corn products,” the province said.

Local media in Chatham report, however, that a significant amount of the plant’s processed corn meal output is to be destined for a snack food processor in Detroit, about 85 km west.

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