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image of a young woman in a food processing plant

FOOD PROCESSING

Welland's newest sector builds on local availability of fresh fruit and vegetable ingredients

With the recent introduction of Northern Gold Foods and Intravision Greens Niagara into Welland, food processing has become Welland’s newest sector. With its superior land base, central location, multi-modal transportation network, and strong labour force. Niagara and more specifically Welland is in a position to take advantage of the many new markets and opportunities in an industry that continues to see growth. Additionally, the City is well placed, at the heart of the Niagara region, as a location for specialty and niche suppliers responding to market trends favouring natural, organic and nutrient dense foods. Small and independent makers of natural and organic snacks, beverages, baked goods and cereals have more potential for sales and margin growth. These suppliers can build on the local availability of fresh fruit and vegetable ingredients and enjoy “100 Mile” status among the population of the Golden Horseshoe, home to nearly 9 million people.

Tools and Resources

Niagara College’s Agriculture and Environment Innovation Centre – works with private and public sector partners to develop innovative solutions to address today’s challenges in precision agriculture, GIS, computer programming, sustainable food production, plant growth, horticultural practices, greenhouse operations, aquaponics, environmental management and renewable energies.

Niagara College’s Canadian Food & Wine Institute Innovation Centre – offers a full suite of services to support industry innovation and commercialization of new products and processes. From new recipe development to shelf-life testing and nutritional labelling, the CFWI Innovation Centre pairs industry partners with faculty, recent graduates and students with the right expertise and equipment to meet businesses needs.

Niagara College’s Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre – specializes in engineering design, 3D technologies, lean manufacturing processes and additive manufacturing. Work with Southern Ontario businesses to bring ideas to life, from concept through to developing working prototypes, utilizing leading-edge technology, including equipment and software.

Brock University’s Advanced Biomanufacturing Centre – pursues new methods for the manufacturing of medicinally important compounds, chemical building blocks, and new materials. The Centre recruits the highest caliber graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to not only tackle existing industrial challenges but to also develop unique techniques and methodologies for commercialization. This Centre combines transdisciplinary, creativity, commercialization opportunities, and regional context.

image of a vertical farm from Intravision Greens

“We were looking for a place where the project will have a very minimal carbon footprint ... having clean power from Welland hydro was another big feature in selecting Welland,” said Neville D'Souza, CEO of Niagara Holdings, the parent company of Intravision Greens (Canada), a vertical hydroponics-based farming company that recently completed the first phase of construction on a 20,000-square-foot growing facility in Welland.

WELLAND FOOD PROCESSORS

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