Heinz Canada has announced plans to relocate production of 1.2 million cases of canned tomato pasta sauce from a Borden Montreal facility to the Heinz Leamington plant.

The company will make a C$3m (US$1.88m) capital investment to move equipment between the plants. In response to demand for additional tomato solids to be used in production of a range of processed tomato products Heinz will also spend an extra C$1.3m to install a new tomato paste filler which will extend the Leamington plant's production capabilities for seasonal tomato products.

"This announcement is a strong vote of confidence in Heinz Canada and the Leamington facility. It also confirms our ability to meet the demands of increased production," said James Krushelniski, Heinz Canada president and CEO.

"A partnership of employees, management, Ontario tomato growers and the provincial government has played an important role in Leamington's growth and strong standing for the future," said Krushelniski. "It is their collective contributions that have allowed Heinz Canada to expand our business prospects in the US and ultimately benefit the local economy of southwestern Ontario."

Heinz Canada's Leamington plant, one of the largest production facilities in the world for Heinz products, provides a wide range of products including ketchup, chili sauce, tomato juice, jarred baby foods, infant cereal, canned beans and pasta, and vinegar. With the addition of the Catelli, Bravo and Gattuso pasta sauces, total canned production at Leamington will grow to more than 23 million cases or an increase of 5.4%.

Heinz purchased the Borden Foods business in 2001 and acquired the Catelli, Classico, Gattuso and Bravo brands of pasta sauces as a result.