NatureFresh builds new $4M Leamington distribution centre

According to by DOUG SCHMIDT: Leamington greenhouse growing giant NatureFresh Farms is building a new, $4-million distribution centre to increase production efficiency and add new specialty packaging.

Business is booming, said company president and owner Peter Quiring, and one of Canada’s largest independent growers is also hoping to install lighting to become a year-round growing operation.

Hampering that business growth, however, is the continued waiting game for a new power line and increased hydro capacity for the Leamington area, as well as new costs like Ontario’s cap-and-trade taxation that kicked in in January.

Quiring’s rough estimate is that the new carbon tax will cost his 130-acre Leamington operation an extra $910,000 this year.

“It’s making us terribly uncompetitive,” Quiring told the Star. A planned 30-acre greenhouse expansion was put on hold last summer.

Year-round production, he said, would enable the Canadian operation to “supply customers on a consistent basis.”

Even without the new greenhouse lighting, NatureFresh’s new 106,000-square-foot distribution centre, which Quiring hopes to have completed by June, should result in new jobs, but he doesn’t know how many. He said it will allow the company to offer more varieties of packaging for its agricultural products.

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