600 Clarke Rd London, Ontario N5V 3K5
Year established -
311940 - Seasoning and dressing manufacturing
Major expansions -
EU, US, Asia-Pacific
McCormick Canada Inc.
McCormick Canada Inc. is Canada’s largest food-favouring manufacturer. It is a successful leader in the spice, seasoning, flavouring, and specialty food industry, with its head office in London, Ontario. It has manufacturing, sales and distribution centres in Toronto and London.
Many go-to brands that fill Canadians’ pantries—including Clubhouse, Billy Bee, McCormick Gourmet, Cake Mate, and Fish Crisp—come from McCormick Canada (McCormick). McCormick’s history dates back to 1883, when it existed under the name Gorman Dyson and Company, and focused on coffee, spices, and food extracts. By the 1900s, the company had undergone a change in leadership and name (becoming Gorman, Eckert, & Company), and expanded its facility and product line to include ketchup, mustard, and salad dressings. Business was thriving at the London, Ontario facility, with up to $200,000 in sales revenue. In 1959, a second name change transformed the company into Clubhouse Foods Limited, and a third name change in 1989 created the current McCormick Canada. Since 1959, McCormick has remained the largest spice, seasoning, food extract, and specialty foods manufacturer in Canada.
With two manufacturing facilities in London and a sales office and distribution centre in Mississauga, McCormick is the epitome of successful Ontario manufacturing. A tri-focus strategy on growth, performance, and people is the key to McCormick’s success. Jonathan Abate, the company’s engineering and maintenance manager, has had the opportunity to experience a variety of roles in the company over the past eight years, including project engineer, facility manager, and process improvement manager.
McCormick takes a proactive approach to the development of its employees by utilizing a high-performance organization (HPO) philosophy and various other development tools, such as the Multiple Management Board (MMB). HPO empowers employees to use their talents and potential to meet McCormick’s business objectives. Abate himself benefitted from opportunities to work in the United Kingdom and the United States in different roles as a result of HPO. Similarly, MMB allows for cross-functional teams to work on projects in different divisions of the business, providing them with opportunities to learn and explore other aspects of the company.
Most of McCormick’s employees are from London, Ontario and the surrounding area. Office employees include sales, finance, marketing, human resource, and manufacturing professionals. Manufacturing employees possess a wide range of skills acquired from prior work experience, college education, or “Red Seal” trades. However, finding suitable skilled trades workers has become especially difficult in recent years. A high school apprentice program, along with an internal apprentice program, helps find and foster workers with the right values for McCormick: hard-work, passion, and the pursuit of continuous development. The internal apprentice program retrains manufacturing employees in new areas, as well as in a manufacturing strategy called total productive maintenance (TPM). All manufacturing employees are trained in TPM, as it aims to build technical capability in employees, and to eliminate loss. As TPM builds the technical aspects of the company, HPO builds effective attitudes and emotional aspects to create a balanced and healthy work environment.
These dynamic programs aim to maximize company performance and growth through encouraging and practising innovative methods and lean manufacturing. Year-to-year growth has typically been about 5 percent a year for McCormick. The company maintains this growth throughout various economic cycles by ensuring cost control, innovation, and the highest product quality. In the food industry, the preservation of quality is of the utmost importance.
This emphasis on quality - along with innovative new products focused on non-genetically modified, organic, and fresh foods - has ensured McCormick's success. Its latest innovation is a new line of wet-sauce packets to flavour dishes.
McCormick maintains positive relationships with all levels of government in Canada. The company benefits from the federal government’s Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program (SR&ED). In addition, the Growing Forward 2 program (GF2), a joint federal-provincial initiative, encourages McCormick’s innovation and market development in the agri-products sector. Under a culture of giving, McCormick is highly involved in Canadian communities, providing support to United Way as well as several other charities. Furthermore, as part of an annual event called C-Day, McCormick’s employees work on a Saturday and donate their earnings to a selected charity, demonstrating their individual dedication to their communities.
Abate believes that with an adherence to these practices, McCormick can maintain its 5 percent annual growth rate in the coming years. All manufacturers have the capability to eliminate costs throughout their firms; therefore if manufacturers work in a smart, efficient, and organized manner to ensure food safety and employee safety, and to reduce costs, they are likely to succeed. Customers have a higher level of trust in foods manufactured locally. This trust is beneficial to London’s emerging food manufacturing industry, which includes Dr. Oetker, Nestle, and Cargill, as well as McCormick. Recent trends involving the relocation of offshore manufacturing to Canada paint a similarly optimistic picture for the future of Canadian food manufacturing. The delicious array of products and innovative employee programs that McCormick offers makes supporting Canadian manufacturing both easy and enjoyable.
For more information about McCormick Canada Inc., visit their website!.
Published: July 25, 2016
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