Agri-Food and Beverage Sector Contributions to York Region’s Economy

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The Regional Municipality of York is the site of one of the largest argi-food sectors in Canada. York Region sits on the Holland Marsh and is home to over 820 working farms and more than 400 food processing and distribution businesses.The local agriculture and agri-food sector has an estimated annual economic impact of $1 billion and generates a number of employment opportunities for the residents of York Region.We are delighted to profile a few players that significantly contribute to the region’s agri-food and beverage sector.

Mars Canada Celebrates Sweet Deal in Newmarket, Ontario

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Mars Canada recently celebrated the opening of their new 60,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility in Newmarket, Ontario.TheYork Region facility will manufacture Maltesers® chocolate for the first time in North America and distribute the product across Canada and the United States.The nut-free factory will manufacture Maltesers for the entire North American market, producing 7.5 million chocolate treats each day and exporting 80 per cent of the product to the United States. Newmarket’s close proximity to the United States makes it an ideal location for exporting Maltesers and opens the door for future expansion.

The new Mars Canada facility also takes advantage of Newmarket’s highly- skilled workforce. Construction of the new facility employed 50 tradespeople and subsequently added 30 full-time positions to the community’s job bank. In addition, the factory is set to offer at least 10 more positions by the end of the year as production grows into a 24-hour, 7-days-per-week operation.

Along with creating new jobs, the Newmarket factory is also home to superior industry-leading technology, manufacturing, and distribution practices from Mars, Incorporated’s 3 other facilities located around the world.

Family and Artisanal Desserts are Everything at LaRocca Creative Cakes!

Over the last 30 years, LaRocca Creative Cakes has treated North America to
an array of unique artisanal desserts. LaRocca’s pastry chefs combine fresh ingredients to create a number of original cake flavours and taste experiences. Ingredients are sourced locally and from around the world to create these one-of-a-kind desserts.

La Rocca carries on the tradition of handcrafted dessert making which began 60 years ago in Naples, Italy. Today, the family-owned bakery is located in Richmond Hill, Ontario. The bakery specializes in creating delicious cakes and pies distributed through thousands of grocery stores, specialty food stores, and cafes inYork Region and across Canada.

Mornings are Made Better with Smucker’s®

The year was 1897, and a man by the name of Jerome Monroe Smucker had just created an original recipe called apple butter. Smucker sold his first jar of apple butter from the back of a horse- drawn wagon in the quaint town of Orrville, Ohio.Today, the J.M. Smucker Company has grown exponentially, distributing products to over 45 countries around the world, including Canada.

In 1988, Smucker’s® brought its products to the Canadian marketplace and is now recognized as one of the top food companies in Canada. While the company still specializes in producing quality jams, jellies, fruit spreads and ice cream toppings, the brand has since grown to include other well-known products such as Folgers® coffee, Crisco® shortening® and oils, Robin Hood flour, and more.

Smucker Foods of Canada Corp. is located in the heart of Markham, Ontario. Smucker’s has assembled a Canadian management team that embodies Smucker’s 5 guiding principles of Quality, Ethics, People, Growth, and Independence. In their leadership, team members focus on exercising sustainable practices and fostering the growth of both the business and its employees.

The Future of Agriculture and the Agri-Food Sector in York Region

With assistance from the York Region Agricultural Advisory Liaison Group, the municipality is implementing an agriculture and agri-food strategy to support the future of the agri-food production sector in the area.The advisory committee is also dedicated to addressing challenges, assisting farmers, and bringing residents and farmers together to create a more inclusive agricultural community.