Hensall District Co-operative welcomed IFAJ members last week. Here’s CEO, Earl Wagner, who gave us an overview of the various business units of the co-operative. Before we settled in for his presentation and a tour of the facilities in Hensall, ON, we were treated to a variety of foods made with their products. They are known for their dry beans and edible soybeans and almost all of the products they grow are GMO free which has been important to their customers in Japan. One of the products we sampled was carrot cake made with bean and corn flour. I ate way more than I should but it was incredibly good!
HDC is a diversified farmer-owned Ontario Agricultural Co-operative. Established in 1937, HDC is the largest independent agricultural co-operative in Ontario with 4000 members who elect 10 Board of Directors. HDC employs 300 staff members with annual sales of 328 million.
I interviewed Earl after his presentation. He told me they have a very diversified business. Besides dry beans and edible soybeans they also produce a lot of corn and wheat. Last year they had a record crop but this year is down significantly. However, this year’s lower yields were a lot higher than just a few years ago.
Here’s a short video clip showing the gravity separator that “cleans the edible beans” as part of the preparation for shipping. We toured through the whole facility and around a growing collection of storage bins. There are a number of pictures in the photo album.
Coverage of the IFAJ Congress is sponsored by PIONEER Hi-Bred