Local Canner Exporting To Africa

(MAIDSTONE, ON) – Thomas’ Utopia Brand is proud to announce a partnership with the Festrut Group that will see them act as the African representative of Utopia Brands of products. Thomas’ Utopia Brand will produce a minimum of 2.2 million cases, or $25 million, per year. The relationship brings the taste of Ontario to Nigeria.

"Positioning Utopia Brand Tomatoes to compete in a global market place required going the distance and reaching out to emerging countries for the development of relationships. We are proud to be partnering up with the Festrut Group," said Thomas’ Utopia Brand CEO Bill Thomas.

"Our food processing sector continues to be a key driver in our region’s economy, and the success of Thomas’ Utopia Brand is proof of that", said Teresa Piruzza, MPP for Windsor West. I’m thrilled to learn that Thomas Canning has successfully signed this letter of agreement to sell cases of tomatoes globally, ensuring that local farmers will continue to have a buyer for their fresh tomatoes."

Sandra Pupatello, CEO of the Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation said, "Thomas Utopia Brand is a great example of the world class agri-business sector in Windsor Essex. This announcement of a $25 MM export contract to Nigeria will increase the number of high paying manufacturing jobs in Essex County and continue to help our regions tomato growers invest in their operations. Windsor Essex continues to be a premier agri-business region with exports to every region in North America and every continent."

The deal stems from familiarization tours in Nigeria and Windsor-Essex, with Utopia, Festrut, and the Nigerian National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

Dr  Festus Asikhia, Chairman of the Festrut Group, along with members of his staff will be touring Windsor-Essex region wineries, food manufacturers, and educational institutions, as well as meeting various government and community leaders while in the region this week.

The first Utopia cans will be on shelves in Nigeria on May 23.

The deal was made possible with the help of Dammy Atoki who helped build the relationship and broker the agreement between Canada and Nigeria. Utopia is also partnering with NAFDAC to launch a Utopia Food Safety Training Program to help manage and train employees in the food and beverage industry.

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Ian Shalapata
Ian Shalapata is the owner and publisher of Square Media Group. He covers politics, the police beat, community events, the arts, sports, and everything in between. His imagery and freelance contributions have appeared in select publications and for organizations in Canada and the United States. Contact Ian with story ideas.

1 Comment on "Local Canner Exporting To Africa"

  1. The news is great and the credit should go to Utopia producers they went after the contract. The Liberal party always likes to jump on the band wagon and take credit for someone else’s hard work.

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