Thorold is about to become home to one of the largest pet-food producers in the country.
At least that is the goal that Niagara Pet Nutrition is aiming for with the construction of their multi million dollar plant just off Allaport Road in Port Robinson.
Bob Hales is the plant- and production manager in charge of overseeing the work at the 12 acre property that soon will host more structures to be able to room the massive production facility, previously home to a steel company.
The company is looking to mainly become an exporter of dry kibble for both dogs and cats.
“There is a higher demand for Canadian made food in the American- and overseas markets”, Hales said when Thorold News visited the plant.
“Money is available and economies are expanding," he continued while pointing to Europe and Asia as the two biggest remote export locations.
“People now have pets, they feed them prescribed diets and not just table scraps. The demand is growing, and that is happening for some european countries as well”
The company hopes to be well underway exporting their product within one year.
Hales says along with the construction and assembly of the multi-building plant, a large portion is waiting for local building permits and getting the green light to start exporting abroad.
Once fully operational, the plant will be able to produce between 5 and 7 tons of food per hour on a 24 hour schedule, making Niagara Pet Nutrition one of the biggest producers in the country according to Bob Hales.
All the machinery has been specially ordered and flown in, mainly from China and features a precise production process and undergoes rigorous testing.
The plant will employ between 20 and 40 production staff, as well as a salesforce.
“For logistics we will try to hire as much as we can locally”, Bob Hales said.
The food has been developed with the help of an in-house nutritionist as well as relying on science-based formulas and industry standards.
Right now the limited batches that have been produced are available online, and local Thorold pets have signed off on the quality.
“The ownership has moved it through local groups and individuals, as well as tried it on their own pets. So far it has all been gobbled up” Hales said, adding he does not have any pets himself but is hoping that is something that could come in the future.
NOTE: The article has been updated to correct spelling errors.