Expansion at Sprague Foods supported by Province

President Rick Sprague (Sprague Foods photo)

A company with deep roots in Prince Edward County is one of two businesses in the Quinte region benefitting from a provincial grant program.

The Ontario government is supporting an investment of more than $14 million by two Belleville-area companies to help strengthen local manufacturing, create good jobs and support regional economic recovery and growth. Combined, the province is investing $1 million in the local manufacturing sector through the Regional Development Program, which will help create 37 jobs.

The Sprague Family cannery in Mountain View was established in 1925. (Sprague Foods photo)

Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli was in Belleville Tuesday to announce Sprague Foods was receiving  $500,000 towards a $5.6 million investment in new equipment and the construction of a new storage facility at their project facility. With Ontario’s investment of $500,000 from the Eastern Ontario Development Fund, Sprague Foods will increase productivity and innovation, which will boost employment, total revenues, and sales into new markets. The project is expected to create 14 new jobs.

In 1925, the Sprague family built a seasonal cannery in Mountain View to preserve locally grown vegetables and have been canning organic and natural food products in the Bay of Quinte Region ever since.

Now based in Belleville in their  fifth generation and operating out of their third cannery, Sprague Foods have an expanding line of soup and bean products under the Sprague brand and the company also produces for a select group of private labels. Sprague distributes products throughout Canada and the United States.

“The Regional Development Program continues to support manufacturers through targeted investments that allow companies to create good local jobs,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “These two projects are making a significant impact in communities and economies in the Belleville region by helping to secure the private-sector investment to create the conditions for viable economic growth and job creation. We thank Sprague Foods and Ontario Truss & Wall for contributing to our province’s dynamic and diverse manufacturing sector.”

With Ontario’s investment of $500,000 from the Eastern Ontario Development Fund, Sprague will increase productivity and innovation, which will boost employment, total revenues, and sales into new markets. The project will create 14 jobs.

“This investment will help us expand production capacity, allowing us to make more food for Canadian families, right here in Canada,” said Rick Sprague, President of Sprague Foods. “Revitalizing and modernizing Canada’s food processing sector is vital not only for rural economies, but is also crucial for improving supply chain resilience and Canada’s food security.”

The province is also investing in Quinte-area  wood truss manufacturer and floor joist reseller.

Ontario Truss & Wall Ltd are investing more than $8.4 million to expand into two new product lines, including prefabricated wall panels and floor systems that are not currently manufactured in the Quinte and Belleville area. As part of the project, the company will build a new 24,000 sq. ft. facility on current land and relocate manufacturing operations. With Ontario’s investment of $500,000 from the Eastern Ontario Development Fund, the project will allow Ontario Truss & Wall to improve product accuracy and quality while improving facility output. The project will create 23 jobs, and the company will also provide significant training to both current and new team members.

“We are overly appreciative of the support received from our Ontario Government,” said Andrew Bryden, Vice President and Comptroller of Ontario Truss and Wall. “Their significant contribution has helped to create new jobs and maintain current positions. We are excited to see the continued growth initiated by this investment.”

“Provincial investments through the Eastern Ontario Development Fund are leveraging private dollars to encourage more jobs, new construction, and increased manufacturing capacity in the Quinte region,” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte and Minister of Energy. “We know this creates a multiplying effect producing significant economic returns. This is vital to our communities as we recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“This is a real vote of confidence in the Quinte area economy with this pair of announcements from Sprague Foods and Ontario Truss and Wall,” said Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington. “These new jobs will mean more families can stay here and build their futures in our area and contribute to our community.”

Ontario is investing more than $100 million through the Regional Development Program from 2019 to 2023 to support distinct regional priorities and challenges. The program provides cost-shared funding to businesses, municipalities and economic development organizations to help local communities attract investment, diversify their economies, and create jobs.