Ford in London for $43M ground-breaking of Nestlé plant expansion

Nestlé Canada President John Carmichael, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, and Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy break ground on the $41.3M expansion at the company's London ice cream plant, November 5, 2021. (Photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn Media)

Nestlé Canada had some high profile help to break ground on a $41.3 million expansion at its London ice cream plant.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, along with Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, London West MP Arielle Kayabaga, and London Mayor Ed Holder, visited the company’s facility on Wilton Grove Road on Friday for the dirt turning ceremony.

“Manufacturing and production facilities like Nestlé are the lifeblood of communities across the province,” Ford said. “They provide steady well paying jobs for great Ontario workers… Investing to expand your operations here in London gives this community and the families who call it home confidence knowing they have job security and that is absolutely critical.”

Prior to making his remarks, Ford toured the existing plant which employs 800 workers.

The 26,600-square-foot expansion, originally announced in June, will add 100 additional positions and two new production lines.

Nestlé Canada President John Carmichael. (Photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn Media)

Nestlé Canada President John Carmichael. 

“100 per cent of Nestlé’s ice cream production is done right here in this plant in London with local employees and all of the dairy comes from Canada as well,” said John Carmichael, the company’s president and CEO. “So this is an investment on the capability of a great team to build it up and make it even more impressive.”

Carmichael added the new space comes as the company sets its sights on sustainability.

“That is a really high priority for us both in how we are involved in the London community but also in commitments we make, like we are going to be net carbon neutral by 2050. We are going to be in total reusable and recyclable packages by 2030,” said Carmichael.

Nestlé’s south London plant has been in operation for more than 50 years and currently produces the Häagen-Dazs, Parlour, Real Dairy, and Drumstick brands –  ice cream treats the premier admitted he likes to indulge in.

“I hold you guys fully responsible for my extra 60 lbs, ’cause at night time I grab that Häagen-Dazs and I go hog-wild,” Ford joked.

Nestlé expects the expansion to be completed by early 2023.