June 4, 2009
ROGERSVILLE (CNB) - Ocean Spray, the world's largest cranberry handler, began construction today on a cranberry farm near Lac Després that has the potential to become a regional growing hub.
Premier Shawn Graham was joined at the event by Rogersville Mayor Bertand LeBlanc; Agriculture and Aquaculture Minister Ronald Ouellette; Environment Minister Roland Haché; Chief Ken Barlow of Indian Island First Nation; and Randy Papadellis, chief executive officer of Ocean Spray.
"This project puts Rogersville on the map as one of Canada's key cranberry growing regions," said Graham. "Having an internationally recognized juice brand such as Ocean Spray choose our province as the location for a potential regional hub demonstrates that New Brunswick is the place to be for business and that we have the expertise to produce world-class agricultural products."
The provincial government will lease roughly 3,400 ha (8,400 acres) of Crown land in southeastern New Brunswick to Ocean Spray to establish its regional hub; up to 775 ha (1,914 acres) will be transformed into cranberry beds. The first yield is expected in 2012.
"New Brunswick offers significant potential to meet the increasing global demand for cranberries due to its ideal growing environment," said Randy Papadellis, chief executive officer of Ocean Spray. "With the collective knowledge and experience of our Ocean Spray grower-owners and our partnership with the local community, we are confident this project will be a long-term success."
An investment of $8 million will be made for Phase 1, in 2009-10. The total development potentially represents an investment of $90 million. The project could generate about $45 million annually in economic benefits to the province
"The Ocean Spray project clearly demonstrates the valuable contribution that Crown lands can make toward the growth and economic development of our province's agriculture industry," said Agriculture and Aquaculture Minister Ronald Ouellette.
Ouellette added that an expansion to the project could potentially create more than 100 jobs for the region, with the potential for future growth as the cranberry yield increases. This, he said, presents an opportunity for the establishment of value-added processing in the area.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Marie Andrée Bolduc, communications, Office of the Premier, 506-444-2286; Paul Harpelle, communications, Agriculture and Aquaculture, 506-444-4218, firstname.lastname@example.org; John Isaf, Ocean Spray, 617-548-3179.