Canadian propagator Ontario Plants announced plans for a 25,000 m2 expansion that will bring their total production area to 13 hectares. According to president Steve Vanderkooy, the expansion is a result of the growth of their customers. “When our customers grow, we don’t hesitate to plan the next phase." The propagator in St. Thomas has contracted Havecon Projects to supply and install the structure, glass, and screens.
With construction underway at several of Ontario Plants’ long-term clients, Ontario Plants had construction plans clearly in their sights. "We are partners with our clients in that we rely on each other. Many of these relationships go back more than a decade. That said, we are careful to ensure that our management team is sufficiently prepared for any increased volume. First we build the management team then we build the greenhouse.”
“Our goal is to continually grow to meet the increasing needs of our clients and it is our vision is to remain one of North America’s premier greenhouse vegetable plant raisers. This latest phase of construction increases capacity and also automation which further drives efficiency improvements and growing accuracy. Our entire organization is very excited about these advancements,” described Vanderkooy.
Using primarily Dutch greenhouse technology and automation, Ontario Plants is reinvesting in significant additional processing equipment. Flier will deliver a second grading line for grafted tomatoes and also a second rock-wool block line for transplanting tomatoes, peppers, and sowing cucumbers.
This will provide significant increased processing capacity to enable Ontario Plants to ramp up production quickly when needed.
“It is critical to have enough capacity to handle the plants at the right moment and being 130,000 m2 helps us do that. Delaying certain activities because of limited capacity can have a negative effect on quality,” added Vanderkooy. “With this new equipment and greenhouse, we will have maximum flexibility and efficiency to meet our clients’ time sensitive needs for plants.”
Ontario Plants began operations in 2002 providing plant propagation services to greenhouse vegetable producers across the eastern half of North America.