Nestlé Canada is breaking ground on a multi-million dollar investment in its London, Ont., ice cream factory that’s serving up a treat for the local economy.
On Friday, company officials were joined by a group of politicians, including Premier Doug Ford, to celebrate the $41.3-million expansion in the south London facility.
First announced in June, Nestlé says the 26,600-square-foot expansion will create up to 100 new jobs while also boosting production for a variety of its ice cream brands, including Häagen-Dazs, Real Dairy and Drumstick.
“More and more companies are wanting to come to London, so you guys are doing something right,” Ford said in his remarks on Friday.
The premier also praised Nestlé for its continued spending in London, which includes a $51.5-million expansion announced in 2018.
“We’re heading up towards close to $100-million since 2018 … I can tell you, the future is bright here in London,” Ford said.
Mayor Ed Holder described the investment as a “huge, huge win for London, which is the undisputed economic hub of southwestern Ontario.”
Holder’s comments came on the heels of the city experiencing its lowest unemployment rate so far this year.
“Thanks to Nestlé and thanks to our skilled workforce, our recovery in London is well underway,” Holder added.
London, Ontario has just experienced its sixteenth month of net new employment growth, resulting, in more than 50,000 jobs created here — stronger than pre-pandemic levels, he said.
The expansion is set to conclude in 2023, but Nestlé Canada president and CEO John Carmichael said some of the 100 new jobs expected have already begun.
“I would say to anybody who’s interested in those jobs to come right out … no reason to wait for those particular 100, we’ve got fabulous jobs here at all levels and in all positions,” Carmichael said.
Carmichael also touched on Nestlé Canada’s sustainability efforts, including commitments to have net-zero emissions by 2050 and to only use reusable or recyclable packaging by 2030.
These commitments will apply to London’s ice cream factory and its upcoming expansion, he said.
“Investment in sustainability is absolutely part of it.”