Oct. 10, 2007
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Components of a provincial initiative to encourage New Brunswick consumers to buy local agri-food products were launched today by Agriculture and Aquaculture Minister Ronald Ouellette.
The Agri-Food Market Development Program is part of a $400,000 commitment by the department to further develop domestic markets to increase the sale and consumption of New Brunswick agri-food products within the province.
"This program highlights the importance we place on getting locally produced food to New Brunswick consumers," Ouellette said. "The government is fully committed to including agriculture and the rural way of life in developing a self-sufficient province by 2026."
The program will provide funding to agri-food businesses to help them increase their capacity to improve visibility, attract a wider clientele, increase their promotion and advertising activities, facilitate product development/market launch, and develop strategic innovative market opportunities.
Ouellette said he looks forward to working closely with industry representatives to help promote awareness of the high-quality agriculture products grown and processed in New Brunswick.
As part of the buy-local initiative, the Market Development Advisory Committee has been created to address issues surrounding the marketing of New Brunswick agri-food products. The group will comprise 11 members representing various commodities and marketing channels in New Brunswick.
"We are committed to partnering with the New Brunswick agri-food industry to identify new market opportunities and to develop a strategic approach to increasing the consumption of local New Brunswick agri-food products by the residents of the province," the minister said.
The Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture is also working with other provincial departments on a number of buy-local initiatives, such as government procurement of New Brunswick agri-food products, fruit and vegetable school program, promotional signage and agri-tourism. The department will also facilitate the re-establishment of a provincial farmers' markets association and explore the enhancement of the NB Grown marketing program.
"Buying locally gives consumers access to high-quality, wholesome food products while contributing in a crucial way to the success of the agriculture industry in New Brunswick," Ouellette said. "It also minimizes the impact of climate change, because buying locally significantly reduces emissions associated with the transportation of goods from other provinces and countries."
With $450 million worth of farm cash receipts and 15,000 on-farm and processing jobs, agriculture is a vital economic driver for New Brunswick.
For more information on the New Brunswick Agri-Food Market Development Program, visit http://www.gnb.ca/agriculture.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Background information follows on the Agri-Food Market Development Program. MEDIA CONTACT: Alain Bryar, communications, Agriculture and Aquaculture, 506-444-4218.
Agri-Food Market Development Program
The Agri-Food Market Development Program represents a $210,000 investment in agriculture by the Province of New Brunswick.
Project applications can be submitted under one or more of the six program elements:
- Road Signage - aims to develop and improve road signage directing clients to a direct farm market operation, farmer's market or other locations that market New Brunswick agri-food products.
- Promotion and Advertising - provides assistance to develop promotional material related to New Brunswick agri-food products.
- Agri-Tourism - facilitates the diversification of commercial farms to agri-tourism destinations.
- Product Development/Market Launch - facilitates the successful entry of new products or companies into the marketplace or existing products into new markets.
- Marketing Groups and Organizations - Establishment and Capacity-Building - facilitates the establishment and activity of marketing groups and/or associations, and provide assistance to help build their capacity as a marketing group.
- Strategic Initiatives - provides industry stakeholders and the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture with the opportunity to capitalize on new initiatives that support the development and marketing of the province's agri-food industry.
Eligible applicants to the program include individuals or businesses who are entering into or are established as an agricultural or agri-food enterprise in New Brunswick and who market New Brunswick agri-food products. Also eligible, are associations or organizations representing an agricultural commodity or agriculture marketing group that markets New Brunswick agri-food products. Businesses that partner with the New Brunswick agri-food industry to promote the sale and consumption of New Brunswick agri-food products are also eligible.
Market Development Advisory Committee
Members of the Advisory Committee are:
- Robert Bourgeois, apple and wine producer, Memramcook;
- Hans Bouma, dairy and greenhouse producer, Robertville;
- Jeannie Cruikshank, Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors, Halifax;
- Karen Davidge, certified organic producer, Keswick Ridge;
- Patrice Finnigan, greenhouse producer, Rogersville;
- Chip Hunter, horticulture crop producer, Florenceville;
- Henry Knight, cattle producer, Jemseg;
- Annie LaPlante, Co-op Atlantic, Moncton;
- Larry Slipp, certified organic livestock producer, Central Hampstead;
- Joey Toner, potato producer, Grand Falls;
- Larry Yerxa, beef processor, Scotch Settlement