Berwick ON – Homestead Organics of Berwick will announce the launch of Organic Central at a public information meeting:
– Tuesday, July 20th, at 7PM, to last probably until 9PM or as long as there are questions.
– North Stormont Township office, 15 Union Street, Berwick ON.
– Open to the public, neighbours, supporters, and the media.
Homestead Organics has evolved considerably over the last two decades. Starting on the Manley farm west of Berwick in 1988, the company re-organized and moved to the feed mill in Berwick in 1997. Past MPP and Ontario Minister of Agriculture Noble Villeneuve cut the opening ribbon in 1997. Over the last 13 years, the company grew from a single employee to 12 people today, from 500 tonnes of grain to 6000 tonnes.
The organic market and Homestead Organics are still growing. But the business is now at the point where the old feed mill is bursting at the seems. It needs space for more buildings, storage, processing, warehousing, staff, retail operations, and more.
Furthermore, the firm is partnering with other organic food businesses to establish Organic Central – a cluster of local and/or organic agri-food processors.
“After touring eastern Ontario to seek the optimal location, the best choice it is right here in Berwick, next to the feed mill,” says Tom Manley, the sponsor of the project.
To establish Organic Central, Homestead Organics is acquiring neighbouring land and proposes to build a major new food processing and distribution facility. The project represents an investment of several million dollars, will establish North Stormont’s second industrial park, will create many new permanent jobs in Berwick, and will open opportunities for local or organic food businesses.
Tom Manley explains: “We would like to share this exciting story with our friends, neighbours and supporters, to present the whole plan, and to seek their input.”
The public meeting will also serve to inform neighbours in Berwick of a request to change the zoning of the affected properties to Class II Industry – Medium Industrial Uses (based on the new proposed zoning by-law for North Stormont). Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions, voice any concerns, and provide input to the plan before the zoning request is submitted.
Congratulations, Tom & Isabelle, Murray and Carrie! This is very good news.