By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
Ontario’s Agriculture Minister, Jeff Leal, toured the Bonduelle plant Tuesday, after a massive fire broke out Friday, destroying much of the warehouses at the food processing facility, located east of Windsor, ON. However, the production and canning facilities were untouched.
The minister visited the fire ravaged site accompanied by Mayor Gary McNamara. Following the excursion, the minister offered remarks at a media conference at Tecumseh Town Hall.
“My thoughts are with all those affected by the terrible fire at Bonduelle,” he said.
Leal offered assurance that the province would provide assistance to help rebuild. “Our government remains committed to working with the company during this difficult time.” McNamara was quoted saying that he has already spoken to Premier Kathleen Wynne about plans to rebuild, and is encouraged by the province’s willingness to step up and offer support.
The province has not received any requests for financial support, Leal told reporters. “If they’d like to come forward with a proposal we would of course review it,” he explained. But the company has said that they are in a good position financially with private insurance.
Bonduelle is making plans to redirect some crops to its facilities located in other parts of Ontario, including one in Ingersoll, ON.
“It is my understanding that there will be no losses for farmers,” said Leal.
The cause of the fire is unknown, but plant officials speculate that it was likely an electrical problem. While an estimate of the damage has not yet been determined, the company said that approximately 4.5 million kilograms of frozen vegetables were destroyed.
(Contributed photo: Minister Leal surveying damage at the Bonduelle foods plant in Techumseh, Ont.)