Ferrero Canada has signed a new three-year memorandum of understanding with the Ontario Hazelnut Association, doubling its original three-year agreement.
“We are deeply interested in Canada and we are renewing for another three years,” Jorge Acevedo, head of global agri-development and innovation for Ferrero, said Tuesday to applause from 200 farmers from Brant, Norfolk and surrounding counties and agricultural industry entrepreneurs.
Acevdeo was addressing the eighth annual Ontario Hazelnut Symposium held at the Best Western Brantford Hotel and Conference Centre.
The global chocolate and confectionary manufacturer wants to help develop hazelnut varieties that are suitable for southern Ontario’s climate and soil conditions so the company can have a reliable supply for its Brantford plant and “de-risk” its supply chain, Acevedo said.
Under the original agreement, full-time agronomist Barb Yates worked to develop the right hazelnut variety and gain the confidence of potential growers. Ferrero is satisfied with the work done so far and feels interest is growing among prospective hazelnut growers, said Acevedo.
“We have to wait for the right time and the right way to go ahead with an agreement,” he added.
Once that happens, Yates will move from full-time research to full-time manager.
“Ferrero feels very confident that the main objectives were achieved in developing a reliable source for hazelnuts to be grown in Ontario,” Acevedo said in an interview.
“And we would like to be proactive and responsible in working with farmers in Ontario. We want to give them full support. Although there are not may acres planted yet, I…
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