Winnipeg agri-food firm Parrish and Heimbecker is close to putting shovels in the ground to replace its dry bean-processing plant in southwestern Ontario.
The privately held company said in a release March 16 it will spend an undisclosed sum to build what it calls a “multimillion-dollar food-grade facility” at Hensall, about 55 km north of London, Ont.
The company said its investment sends a “strong and supportive signal” to Ontario’s 2,000 navy bean producers.
The company’s current elevator at Hensall focuses on contracting and processing of dry beans and draws production from surrounding counties including Huron, Perth, Middlesex, Oxford and Bruce.
P+H sells seed at Hensall and, using electric-eye sorting equipment, it also receives, processes, packages and ships navy beans, cranberry beans, black turtle beans and kidney beans.
The region’s soils yield “some of the best yielding and highest-quality dry beans in the world,” the company said.
The existing facility includes 17,256 tonnes of storage capacity and a 25-car rail spot, served by a RailAmerica short line, the GoderichExeter Railway.
The company said its project development plans indicate “ground-breaking is imminent” for the new plant.
P&H’s eastern Canadian grain operations director Robert Bryson said the new plant will generate freight savings for end-users, as “a footprint in Hensall enables our customers to exploit transportation opportunities as they arise.”
The company, he said, can move product between rail and truck modes and ship in both packaged and bulk product, so the region’s marine gateway ports can be “used to their fullest potential.”