May 16, 2008
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Maple syrup producers in New Brunswick will receive $300,000 this year for their operations, Natural Resources Minister Donald Arseneault announced today.
"This is something that maple syrup producers have been asking for," Arseneault said. "I'm pleased to be able to fulfil my commitment to assist this important activity."
Arseneault made a public commitment to request additional funding at the annual general meeting of the New Brunswick Maple Syrup Association earlier this year.
"This is a proud and historic industry for New Brunswick, and I am encouraged that we have been able to work together to strengthen it," Arseneault said. "Through strong partnerships, New Brunswick will reach its goal of self-sufficiency by 2026."
Funding for this initiative is made possible through the Regional Development Corporation's Total Development Fund.
Arseneault said that the funding will enhance the operability and viability of the maple syrup industry, which employs over 2,000 seasonal workers annually. It will be used to support the proper development of maple sugar stands, to prevent damage to tubing collection systems, and to increase productivity through the removal of diseased and dying trees, as well as undesirable species.
The department will be developing stand treatment and eligibility criteria for maple producers interested in participating in the program.
New Brunswick ranks among the largest producers of maple syrup products in the world. Some 300 operations produce 4 million pounds of syrup every season, representing $12 million in revenues through the local and national markets, and through exports of syrup and value-added products to the U.S. and Germany.
MEDIA CONTACT: Katharine Sidenius, communications, Department of Natural Resources, 506-453-2614.