An article published in the Globe and Mail reveals the complicated process by which Canada’s packaging factories are being forced to switch to new equipment, potentially costing consumers more than $30 million.
The Globe’s report details the challenges faced by a company called Huhtamaka in the aftermath of the closure of the company’s Canadian division.
The story also highlights how some Canadian distributors are now finding it difficult to find replacements.
The problem is, Huhtampi doesn’t want to sell its packaging equipment to other suppliers, either.
Its factory in the Canadian province of Quebec is being run by the Canadian Association of Foodpackers (CAFAP).
CAFAP is a trade association that represents the interests of the Canadian food industry.
Its president is former president of the Canada’s Food and Drug Administration (CFDA), Robert S. Fagan.
CAFOP has been involved in a number of high-profile cases in recent years, including a $2.4-million settlement with a supplier in 2012.
In the same year, the group also reached a $5.4 million settlement with the United States Food and Manufacturing Safety Commission (FMSC) for the failure to conduct a robust safety review of the safety of a chemical additive used in food processing.
As part of its investigation, the CFDA launched a three-year probe into the supplier, which resulted in a $30-million fine against Huhtammak.
The CFDA was also awarded a $12.5-million award from the federal government for the safety oversight of the chemical additive industry.
Huhtamps was the largest recipient of the $30m.
In November, Hutammak announced it was buying its Canadian factory from the Canadian government, and its Canadian operations will be shut down by mid-March.
The company said the deal will help ensure its operations are safe and that it can continue to serve the Canadian market.
CAfap has had no choice but to move to a new facility, with the same equipment as before.
The facility is currently being used to prepare the packaging for the Canadian distribution company.
CAFFA President Robert Fagan has not commented on the CAFFP settlement, but he did express confidence that the company is now in a better position to respond to the threat posed by the Chinese company.
“We have seen the positive impact the Chinese manufacturers have had on our industry, and I believe that with their leadership and experience in the Chinese market, they will continue to bring a new level of product innovation and quality to the Canadian industry,” he said in a statement.
The Canadian division of Huhtams packaging business is still operating.
The new facility is expected to be ready for shipment on March 31, 2019.
“As soon as the product is ready for delivery, the factory will begin to operate in order to maintain quality control and safety standards,” Fagan said in the statement.
“All packaging is tested by our quality assurance and safety teams and the entire plant is fully operational.”
Huhtamas production facility in Montreal is still in use, with new equipment installed on May 19, 2019, the same day the company announced it would be shutting down its Canadian operation.
“Our Canadian operation is no longer able to meet our commitments to the CFTC, so it will be shutting operations on May 29, 2019,” Faggan said in an email.
The federal government is paying Huhtama about $4 million to keep the facility running.
Huhatampi has also filed an appeal with the federal Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), which is still awaiting a decision from the regulator.
In March, Huhatamps plant in Montreal reopened after a month-long shutdown.
CAFA President Robert J. Faggan says the company “will continue to monitor the situation and respond to any changes in the supply chain.”
The Canadian government has also invested $4.7 million to buy a new manufacturing facility in Guelph, Ont., and has begun training the new facility’s workforce.
Faggans office has also received an additional $20,000 in funding to help keep Huhtas production operation in business.