Produce firm sheds space at Ont. Food Terminal

Toronto produce firm Dominion Citrus has accepted an offer to sell its lease on two wholesale units in the Ontario Food Terminal on Toronto’s Queensway.

The Ontario Food Terminal, Canada’s largest wholesale fruit and produce distribution centre, is among the top five in North America. It includes a farmers’ market as well as wholesale units from which companies distribute produce to independent grocers and larger retail chains.

Over 5,000 buyers are registered to buy at the terminal, where to register they must prove they are not the end consumer of their purchases.

Dominion, in a release Wednesday, didn’t name the buyer of its renewable leases on the two type “A” wholesale selling units, but said the buyer is to pay an aggregate purchase price of $3.5 million.

The transaction, pending approval of the food terminal’s board, is meant to enable Dominion to “focus its wholesale business on fewer but more profitable product lines in its remaining two units, while reducing its operating costs and strengthening its balance sheet.”

Dominion on Monday closed on the sale of its fresh juice business, Apple Valley Juice of Clarksburg, Ont., to Quebec juice maker A. Lassonde for gross proceeds of $1.54 million.

Dominion in recent years has been more of a seller than a buyer, shedding its Delta Foods International maple syrup operations in 2008 and its stake in Humpty Dumpty Snack Foods in 2005.

Dominion, an income trust since 2006, owns produce distributor Bo-Fruits, Toronto companies Meschino Banana Co. and Country Fresh Packaging, and Ontario-based Dominion Farm Produce.

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