Hamilton’s prime location on major transportation routes has prompted a number of food-processing companies to set up shop here since the mid-19th century. Workers inside this giant complex of conveyors, piping, tanks and bins processed huge quantities of soybeans and canola into vegetable oil products.
This plant began operations in Hamilton in 1942 under the name W.R. Carpenter Canada Ltd. During World War II, it processed a variety of materials, including copra, linseed and rapeseed. In 1946, the company changed its name to Canadian Vegetable Oil Processing Ltd. and switched to peanut oil production. It began processing soybeans three years later, when peanut supplies dwindled. In 1983, the company also began to process canola, Canada’s largest oilseed crop.
The company has changed owners a number of times. By the turn of the 21st century, the company operated as CanAmera Foods, a partnership of U.S.-based Central Soya and the Saskatchewan and Manitoba Wheat Boards. The workers in this plant became unionized in 1984. The plant now operates as Bunge Limited, an agribusiness and food company.