London’s location, investments in infrastructure, affordability and ample supply of skilled labour make it an attractive destination for investment in manufacturing. The business ecosystem is very welcoming to foreign companies and has attracted large-scale investments including Starlim-Sterner, Dr. Oetker and Nestlé.
Among the most exciting sectors in London’s manufacturing industry is food and beverage processing. The ecosystem stretches from individuals making artisanal products to startups and large multinational corporations, making it one of London’s fastest growing sectors.
Watch below as Kapil Lakhotia - LEDC President and CEO and Local Manufacturing experts talks about why manufacturing businesses should consider expanding to Canada’s London. You can also read their full interviews here on TheFutureEconomy.ca website.
Kapil Lakhotia - President & CEO - London Economic Development Corporation
- London has a diverse manufacturing environment which is best known for defense, aerospace, automation, advanced manufacturing and food and beverage processing.
- London invests heavily in infrastructure including highway access, high capacity servicing to industrial parks, and municipal investments in industrial properties.
- The London Economic Development Corporation works with Fanshawe College and Western University—which, combined, attract over 60,000 students to the city—to make sure that skilled and experienced talent is available to London’s manufacturing employers.
The London region welcomes foreign direct investment and it serves as an attractive destination for foreign companies that are looking to set up large-scale facilities in North America. London’s location on Highway 401, the availability of serviced industrial land, and its access to two of the world’s largest freshwater sources—Lake Erie and Lake Huron—make it a great location to invest in manufacturing, and food processing specifically.
Candace Campbell - Incoming Chair - Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) Southwestern Ontario Chapter
- London’s location provides an abundance of fresh water and raw materials to food processing manufacturers and proximity to Windsor-Detroit for automotive manufacturers.
- The Next Generation (NGen) supercluster is a catalyst for manufacturing companies to connect with technologies providers and to de-risk technology adoption, which will be increasingly important as Canada moves towards industry 4.0.
- London’s fastest growing area of the manufacturing sector is plant-based and artisanal food products.
Foreign investors should consider investing in London because of its competitive advantages in manufacturing. These include its strong and historied manufacturing ecosystem; a robust supply chain; abundant and affordable industrial land; access to top manufacturing and engineering talent; and finally, close proximity to the U.S. market.
Margaret Coons - CEO & Founder - Nuts for Cheese
- London has a strong manufacturing ecosystem that offers ample support to new business owners through resources, guidance and advice.
- London is one of the most affordable places to launch a business in Canada.
- London’s post-secondary institutions and large corporations both attract and provide food manufacturers with ample talent to build their teams.
London’s location—surrounded by agriculture, near the Great Lakes and offering connectivity to the U.S. market—makes it a great destination for foreign investment in food processing.
Vijai Lakshmikanthan - CEO - Starlim North America Corporation
- One of London’s biggest advantages for manufacturers is its location along the 401 corridor, which provides access to the entire North American market within a two-day drive.
- London has an ample amount of skilled labour, which is the number one concern among manufacturers looking to invest in a new jurisdiction.
- The Government of Canada demonstrated strong leadership and provided quick and necessary support to the manufacturing sector during COVID-19.
Technology transfer and adoption as well as training and development are critical to the future of the manufacturing sector. The government should broaden its requisite criteria for support of manufacturing companies to include these two areas in order to strengthen Canada’s manufacturing competitiveness.
Colin Yates - Chair - Centre for Research and Innovation, Fanshawe College
- There is a large group of individuals, startups, mid-sized companies and large corporations in the agri-food and food processing space that have formed a strong ecosystem in London.
- Traditional manufacturing companies are leveraging Ontario’s strengths in artificial intelligence to innovate with new technology applications on the factory floor.
- Colleges and polytechnics are adapting their programming to meet London’s emerging workforce needs in the cannabis and agri-food industries.
Service providers and incubators should consider moving to London to provide the infrastructure, resources and support required to build out its growing agri-food and food processing sector.