June 23, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The first multi-year strategy for transforming the agriculture sector in New Brunswick was released today.
The New Brunswick Agriculture Strategy - Transforming Agriculture Together was released during the quarterly meeting marking the first anniversary of the Minister's Permanent Roundtable on Agriculture.
"At the agriculture summit held in April 2008, the sector called for a vision and strategy for the future of agriculture in our province," said Agriculture and Aquaculture Minister Ronald Ouellette. "During the past two years, we have worked together to develop this strategy, which outlines the current state of the sector and the actions necessary to accomplish our shared long-term vision."
The New Brunswick Agriculture Strategy - Transforming Agriculture Together is the culmination of extensive consultation and involvement with stakeholders. Working from a shared vision for the future of the sector, the provincial government and stakeholders identified 14 overarching strategies.
From promoting the image of agriculture to facilitating more training opportunities for producers and aspiring producers, these strategies frame the implementation of The New Brunswick Agriculture Strategy - Transforming Agriculture Together over several years.
"We sincerely hope that the agriculture summit will become a benchmark for future generations of producers and public decision-makers and lead to greater public participation in the entire food production process," said Jean-Eudes Chiasson, president, National Farmers Union in New Brunswick.
The next step is the development of a first-phase action plan to address priority recommendations more fully by identifying lead agencies, resource requirements and indicators of success.
"This strategy is a roadmap of what agriculture can and should become, and I hope it will serve as a wake-up call to New Brunswickers to think about where our food will be coming from after this generation of farmers retire from the industry," said Patrice Finnigan, president, Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick.
The agriculture and agri-food industry is diverse in New Brunswick, involving more than 2,700 farms and 100 processing plants producing close to $1.2 billion worth of agri-food and beverage products annually.
"When we are all on the same page and working together in the same direction, much can be accomplished," said Ouellette. "This process has been thought-provoking and extremely motivating, and I commend the members of the roundtable and all stakeholders for being forthright and constructive throughout the process."
The New Brunswick Agriculture Strategy - Transforming Agriculture Together is available on the Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture website.
MEDIA CONTACT: Gisèle Regimbal, communications, Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture, 506-444-4218.