NEW $15 MILLION HI-TECH FOOD PRODUCTION FACILITY OPENS AT RICH PRODUCTS, FORT ERIE
FORT ERIE, Ontario, September 15, 2003 - Tim Hudak, MPP Erie-Lincoln and Minister of Consumer and Business Services, today opened the new state-of-the-art $15 million par-bake facility of Rich Products of Canada Ltd. in Fort Erie. “We stood here one year ago,” explained Minister Hudak, “to share Rich’s corporate vision and the commitment it was making to the Town of Fort Erie and the Province of Ontario. This expansion means more jobs today and greater potential for future growth. The Province of Ontario is pleased to have supported Rich’s through its OMAFRA program. The company’s increased exports will mean a more competitive Ontario”.
The $15 million Rich expansion will result in 40 direct new jobs (a 20% increase in Rich’s manufacturing employment in Fort Erie) and expand the present production facility by 22,000 square feet. Seven million dollars of state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment will improve the company’s production capability for par-baked breads and rolls (products that are 80%-90% baked). A total of forty products will be made in addition to the products already produced at the Fort Erie plant.
Mayor Wayne Redekop recognized the business expansion and acknowledged the company’s fortieth anniversary. In a presentation to Robert E. Rich, Sr., Chairman, Rich Products, Mayor Redekop stated. “The Town of Fort Erie appreciates the forty years of successful operations and corporate stewardship that Rich’s has invested in this community”. Jim Thibert, General Manager, Fort Erie Economic Development Corporation and Master of Ceremonies for the opening noted “The Rich Products-Fort Erie relationship is a sterling example of the century long successful investment between New York and Fort Erie in business and social relationships”.
Howard Rich, President and Chief Operating Officer, expressed his thanks to the many partners involved in making the project a reality. “We are very pleased to be expanding in Fort Erie and want to thank our Corporate head offices and their staff; the Province of Ontario and Minister Hudak; the Fort Erie Economic Development & Tourism Corporation; Lallemand Inc; the Ontario Wheat Producers’ Marketing Board; and, Canadian Niagara Power, Ltd.”
Rich’s is known around the world as the founder of the non-dairy segment of the frozen food industry and a leading supplier and solutions provider to the Food Service and In-Store Bakery markets. As one of the world’s premier family-owned food companies, posting annual sales exceeding $1.7 billion (US), Rich’s exports to more than 75 countries including Australia, Belgium, Colombia, China, Holland, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.