Cornwall ON – Do you read the label on the food packages before you buy? Do you know where your food comes from? How about the candy you bought for Halloween? Do you know where it was made?
My wife and I checked every package to find out where everything was made and we were shocked to find out how little was Canadian made.
People in eastern Ontario should be well aware that Hershey and Nestlé closed their manufacturing facilities here. In fact Hershey no longer has any processing facilities in Canada. The only multipack chocolate bar that we could find “Made in Canada” was Cadbury’s.
We were thankful to find that Old Dutch potato chips were made in one of their plants in Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec or New Brunswick.
And now, Bick’s Pickles, a Canadian standard in condiments since the 1950’s, is moving its processing facilities to the United States.
The move was announced at the end of September by J.M. Smucker Co. who purchased the company in 2004. Smucker will move its pickle-making operations from a facility in Dunnville, Ontario, and a pickle tank farm in Delhi Township, Ontario, cutting about 150 jobs by the end of 2011.
However, this closer will not only affect all of the workers from the processing facility and tank farm, but the farmers who grew the cucumbers, cabbages and other produce to supply the company.
A review of the history of Bick’s Pickles shows that this company was a true blue Canadian enterprise that we can, or should I say could, be proud of.
Bick’s History (from http://www.bicks.ca/en/all-about-bicks.aspx )
- The founder of Bick’s pickles was George Bick, a Dutchman who started a cucumber farm north of Toronto in 1939 with his son Walter. A few years later, they started making pickles using an old family recipe… Canadians loved their dill pickles and thus the Bick’s brand of pickles, and other delicious pickled products, was born!
- A new chapter in the Bick’s story began in 1966 when the company was sold to Robin Hood Canada. While Robin Hood maintained the quality and freshness that is synonymous with the Bick’s name, it wasn’t until 2004 that Bick’s was back in family hands… this time, the Smucker family. The J.M. Smucker Company purchased International Multifoods, the parent company of Robin Hood, and the Bick’s brand.
So by this time next year Bick’s Pickles will be made in the United States and the majority of Canadian consumers will keep on buying their product without even noticing.
It’s time for Canadians to start choosing Made in Canada. Consumer choice will help keep the jobs here. If we buy Canadian we will not have to be subject to the American idea of food quality or food safety. If we buy local we can help grow the next big Canadian food icon that will represent Canadian values and will help keep the Canadian economy strong.