Winnipeg, Man. – Agribusiness giant Richardson International Ltd. has announced it will invest $15 million in its canola oil processing facility in Lethbridge, Alta. The company also plans on opening a $1.5-million R&D lab facility and pilot plant at the Lethbridge site.
The funding will allow for a 40-per-cent increase in the size of the plant, adding another 33,000 sq. ft., with room for additional warehouse space and bulk oil storage. It will also allow the oil receiving and blending process to be fully automated, and will include environmental upgrades such as greener packaging efforts.
According to the Winnipeg, Man.-based company, the expansion is necessary in order to continue to meet increased demand for healthier foods. In recent years Richardson has developed new canola-based oil, non-hydrogenated margarine and shortening products for food manufacturers, foodservice operators and for retail customers.
“Our business overall has increased dramatically due to unprecedented customer demand for healthier food products,” says John Haen, vice-president of Richardson Nutrition. “By increasing the footprint of our Lethbridge plant and automating the way we do business, we will be able to better serve our customers’ needs today and into the future.”