The Government of Ontario has committed a significant investment of $1.8 million to fuel the expansion of Niagara Pallet, a key player in the forest sector. The announcement, made on August 24, 2023, entails a strategic move to empower Niagara Pallet’s production facility with advanced technology, poised to triple pallet production, boost sales by 46%, and create 30 new job opportunities.
Graydon Smith, the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, hailed the investment as a crucial step in elevating the operations of a thriving forest sector enterprise. Smith affirmed, “We are building prosperity and creating jobs right here in the Niagara Region and investing in a strong, sustainable forest sector across Ontario.”
The expansion endeavor by Niagara Pallet encompasses a substantial $9 million project, encompassing the addition of 60,000 square feet of production space and the integration of cutting-edge automated equipment for sorting, measurement, and lumber cutting. The prospective outcome is to double the company’s exports to the U.S. market.
Vic Fedeli, the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, underscored the government’s commitment to nurturing local manufacturers such as Niagara Pallet. Fedeli emphasized, “Niagara Pallet’s project will build on what our government is doing to make sure people across our province have good-paying jobs, while also growing the manufacturing sector and strengthening our province’s forest sector supply chain.”
Beyond its immediate impacts, the expansion will contribute to the resilience of Ontario’s forest sector supply chain. Niagara Pallet is committed to enhancing its purchases of Ontario lumber by 60%, subsequently benefiting lumber harvesters, sawmills, and the transportation segment.
Mike Vrugteveen, Vice-President of Niagara Pallet, extended gratitude for the support from Ontario’s Forest Sector Investment and Innovation Program. Vrugteveen highlighted the practical outcomes of this investment, allowing them to adopt advanced lumber processing equipment, ultimately enhancing their production efficiency.
The strategic significance of projects like Niagara Pallet’s expansion aligns with Ontario’s broader goals outlined in Sustainable Growth: Ontario’s Forest Sector Strategy and the Forest Biomass Action Plan.
The Ontario government’s substantial investment of $1.8 million is poised to usher in a new era for Niagara Pallet’s expansion. This initiative, supported by advanced technology, is projected to elevate production, stimulate sales growth, and create jobs, all while fortifying the forest sector’s supply chain.