NORTH DUNDAS — Sevita International Corp.’s footprint outside the rural hamlet of Inkerman is about to grow. The North Dundas Township firm specializing in human-edible soybean production will construct a new soybean processing plant, assisted with a $500,000 provincial grant on the over-$3.6-million project, as announced Aug. 5 by Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
And this township south of Ottawa will see further development in nearby Winchester, where Fortier Stark Industrial is building a new $1.5 million welding and fabrication facility to manufacture and clean tanks for the food, beverage and dairy industries. The project has been awarded $225,000 through the same Eastern Ontario Development Fund.
Sevita will add seven jobs, adding to its current workforce of 28. Fortier Stark Industrial will add five jobs, doubling the current employee roster.
Uniquely designed to allow processing and packaging of both seed and food-grade soybeans, Sevita’s new state-of-the-art plant will allow the company to grow its Eastern Ontario seed business by about 50 per cent, while lowering production costs and improving quality. The Ontario-based agri-food company will also purchase innovative equipment that warms seeds to extend the seed processing and treating season — a technique no other seed plant in Ontario currently employs. Sevita processes non-GMO IP soybeans for food purposes to export markets and sells the seeds to produce the beans to domestic growers. About 85 per cent of its revenue is foreign-based.
“To become Canada’s leading provider of food-grade soybeans to the world, Sevita International collaborates with local resources such as our local growers, other partners and our highly valued employees to develop, grow and provide the finest soybean varieties that supply the growing global demand for high quality Canadian soybean products,” said Sevita VP of Operations, Bob Hart. “We are thrilled to partner with the Eastern Ontario Regional Development team to create both a local and global win, win situation.”
“Regional Development Funding is allowing us to exponentially expand our operations, bring in cutting edge technology and export to new markets,” said Fortier Stark owner Curtis Fortier, whose firm also specializes in high-pressure pipe welding and fabrication, mobile welding and millwright services. “Ever since we started Fortier Stark Industrial in 2016, we have had big dreams of bringing innovation and job creation to our wonderful community. We are grateful for this significant and generous opportunity, which is propelling our business to the next level and helping our vision for FSI become our reality.”
Those two funding announcements coincided with the groundbreaking at a recipient high-tech firm in the neighbouring municipality of South Dundas. Iroquois-based Ross Video — maker of video-switching equipment for the broadcast industry — celebrated the start of a $15-million, 55,000-square-foot production facility expansion in the Seaway village. Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Minister Vic Fedeli attended to announce a $2.25 million contribution through the Eastern Ontario Development Fund. Ross will add 30 jobs to its current workforce of 125.