LONDON, ONT. — Dr. Oetker Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of Oetker Group, has received an investment through Ontario’s Jobs and Prosperity Fund that will allow the company to add a high-speed frozen pizza manufacturing line in London. The addition of the line will create 103 jobs and retain 115 positions at the plant.
The announcement comes nearly three months after Dr. Oetker said it would close its pizza manufacturing facility in Grand Falls, N.B., by the end of May. At the time of that announcement, Dr. Oetker indicated that about 70% of the production at the Grand Falls facility would be transitioned to London, with the remaining 30% being transitioned to its Lodi, N.J., plant.
As part of the latest investment, Dr. Oetker will add a new production line featuring dough preparation, baking, toppings, freezing and packaging equipment. The line also will use high-speed press technology to manufacture single-serve and family-size pizzas. The overall production rate of the London facility is expected to nearly double, to 18,000 pizzas per hour from 10,000.
“Our government’s investment in Dr. Oetker Canada Ltd. will help secure a C$54.5 million foreign direct investment in Ontario’s food processing sector and position the plant to compete globally,” said Jeff Leal, minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “This will in turn help create and retain jobs, boost London’s local economy and support the competitiveness and further growth of Ontario’s agri-food sector.”
Cecile Van Zandijcke, executive vice-president of Dr. Oetker Canada, added, “Dr. Oetker has been committed to Canada since 1960. Receiving this support from the province will strengthen our capacity to further innovate, and drive exports. It will also translate into the ability to continue to serve our Canadian customers and consumers with premium quality products in a sustainable and competitive manner.”The London facility was opened in 2014. Dr. Oetker makes pizzas under the Ristorante, Casa di Mama and Giuseppe brands. The company also distributes a variety of dessert mixes and baking ingredients.