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Hiram Walker announces investment in Windsor plant


March 4, 2014
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd. facility in Windsor

Hiram Walker & Sons Limited has announced an investment in its Windsor production and bottling facility that will allow the spirit and wine company to produce new product lines and increase production by 230,000 cases.

The investment, which includes a $1-million contribution from the Ontario government’s Rural Economic Development Program (RED), is part of the company’s $8-million investment in the site this year, bringing the total investment in the site to more than $80 million in the last 10 years.

With more than 280 employees, the Hiram Walker facility is one of Windsor’s largest employers. The company, wholly owned by Pernod-Ricard S.A. of Paris, has been producing spirits in Canada since the 1850s and is the largest producer of bulk spirits in Canada.

“We have been a strong part of the Windsor manufacturing community for over 150 years, and this investment is part of our continued commitment to the growth of the company and the region,” said Patrick O’Driscoll, president of Hiram Walker & Sons. “The new production volume will benefit our workforce as we smooth out the variability in seasonal peaks to offer more stable employment, and [will] result in enhanced partnership opportunities for our customers.”

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With this investment, Corby Spirit and Wine, which is majority owned by Hiram Walker & Sons Limited, will transfer the production of some of its brands, including McGuinness and Meaghers liqueurs, to the Hiram Walker facility. That transfer is expected to begin in the fall of 2014. New equipment will also allow the plant to manufacture smaller quantities of brands, allowing greater flexibility for new product innovation.