WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA — Richardson International Limited, Canada’s largest, privately owned agribusiness, announced on Oct. 3 that it has purchased Innovative Foods Corporation, a margarine and shortening manufacturing business with plants in Mississauga, Ontario and Sussex, New Brunswick, Canada, effective Oct. 1.

“At Richardson, we are dedicated to developing innovative new canola-based food products for today’s health-conscious consumers,” says John Haen, vice-president, Richardson Nutrition. “The purchase of Innovative Foods allows us to continue to grow our business in the retail, food service and industrial markets.”

With the purchase of Innovative Foods, Richardson is the only Canadian company with manufacturing plants in Eastern and Western Canada that produce both margarine and shortening. Richardson will employ approximately 60 employees who worked for Innovative Foods.

“Richardson is recognized as a leader in developing innovative new non-hydrogenated ingredient solutions for food manufacturers,” says Haen. “The acquisition of Innovative Foods will allow us to better service our customers in both Eastern and Western Canada as well as U.S. markets.”

Over the last 18 months, Richardson has made a significant investment in research and development to develop new canola-based oil, margarine and shortening products. Earlier this year, Richardson Nutrition announced a $15 million expansion to enhance its canola packaging facility in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada to meet increasing customer demand for healthier food products. The company is also adding a $1.5 million research and development laboratory at the facility.