Quebec grants a $ 2 million loan to the American giant Kraft Heinz, which buys its tomatoes from the United States, the same day it launches its Buy Quebecers campaign with great fanfare!
“For the moment, I cannot comment on it, but our objective is really to do that in Canada”, was limited to telling the Journal Danielle Nguyen, director of the Kraft Heinz factory in Mont. -Royal, when asked if she plans to buy her tomatoes in Quebec.
Tuesday morning, Quebec granted a loan of $ 2 million, through the ESSOR program, to Kraft Heinz Canada for a ketchup production line at its Mount-Royal plant, which will collect its fruit in the United States.
“Our supply of tomato paste comes from California because we still have contractual obligations. However, when the contract is finished, we plan to source our supplies in Canada, ”said Danielle Nguyen, plant manager.
In total, the $ 23.3 million Kraft Heinz project is expected to create around 30 jobs paid between $ 30 and $ 35 an hour, Nguyen added. This investment should help keep the other 750 jobs here.
“Quebec taxpayers are going to offer a $ 2 million loan to Kraft Heinz Canada so that they can put a maple leaf on their pot of ketchup”, lamented the director of the laboratory in agri-food analytical science at Dalhousie University, Sylvain Charlebois.
For Simon-Pierre Murdock, co-founder of Canada Sauce, which makes ketchup with tomatoes from the country, the announcement is purely marketing.
“This is just great marketing to gain market share, in a period of protectionism and local buying with the blue basket set up by the Quebec government. These are rather contradictory words and actions, ”he analyzed the Chicoutimi businessman.
“My mother received a call from Kraft-Heinz today, but we don’t do wholesale tomatoes, what we pick, we sell it directly to customers”, shared her Mathieu Beauregard, owner of the Mario Beauregard farm in Sainte-Madeleine.
For Pascal Forest, president of the Quebec Federation of Producers of Processing Fruits and Vegetables (FQPFLT), the company has an interest in buying tomatoes from here. “I would like them to source in Quebec, that’s clear. We are ready to meet them as soon as it suits them, ”he said.
“Conversations between the company and those in charge at Investissement Québec (IQ) concerning local sourcing, in tomatoes and in bottles, will take place,” said the press secretary to the Minister of the Economy, Mathieu St. -Amand.
At the office of the Minister of Agriculture, André Lamontagne, they also said they hoped that the multinational would turn to Quebec. “Conversations between the company and our government concerning local supply, in tomatoes and in bottles, will take place,” said her press officer Laurence Voyzelle with more or less the same words.
– With the collaboration of Jean-François Gibeault