Government of Canada announces funding to expand fruit processing in Atlantic Canada

News release

July 26, 2019 – Morell, Prince Edward Island – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 

Today, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, on behalf of the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced over $971,000 in funding to Jasper Wyman & Son Canada Inc. under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AgriInnovate Program. 

Minister MacAulay also announced an additional repayable contribution of $500,000 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency’s Business Development Program on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

This funding will be used to install new equipment to more efficiently and precisely sort produce, while removing up to 99% of defective berries. The project will help Jasper Wyman & Son Canada Inc. grow exports and sales, increase processing capacity, reduce water and energy consumption and hire additional staff. 

The Government of Prince Edward Island will provide a $194,000 grant through Innovation PEI to assist with the project.

Quotes

"Canada’s producers and food processors are vitally important to our economy. The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of innovative technologies and approaches to staying on the cutting edge. By investing in important projects like this one at Jasper Wyman & Son, we are making sure that Canada’s agricultural sector continues to grow and prosper."

- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

"Companies like Jasper Wyman are working hard to bring innovative practices and techniques to their operations, ensuring they can bring their world class products to kitchen tables across the country, and jobs to Prince Edward Island. The government is proud to support projects that keep the processing sector on the cutting-edge."

- The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay – Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

"Our primary producers are the engine that drives the Prince Edward Island economy and Jasper Wyman & Son are one of the anchors of our blueberry industry. They provide a major boost to the local economy and important employment for the region. This project will put the company on the cutting edge of sorting technology and will improve efficiency for the operation."

- The Honourable Matthew MacKay – Prince Edward Island Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture

"The Wyman’s family would like to thank Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the Government of Prince Edward Island for their continued support of our quest to expand wild blueberry exports and create high-paying jobs in Canada. This investment will be used to fund state-of-the-art processing technology that will enhance our ability to meet ever-increasing global customer demands for exceptional quality. Through strong collaboration with both the federal and provincial governments, we have been able to continuously research and test innovative processing technologies in an attempt to deliver the highest quality wild blueberry product in the industry."

- Robert Mancini, VP and Chief Financial Officer, Jasper Wyman & Son

Quick facts

  • In 2018 blueberries were Canada's most valuable fruit export making up 58% of total fruit exports with a farm gate value of over $243 million.

  • Jasper Wyman & Son Canada Inc., including its parent company, makes up the second largest supplier of wild blueberries in the world. The company farms approximately 1,200 acres of wild blueberries in Canada. 

  • ACOA's Business Development Program (BDP) helps small and medium-sized enterprises and co-operatives start, expand or modernize their businesses by providing access to capital in the form of interest-free repayable assistance.

  • The AgriInnovate Program provides repayable contributions for projects that aim to accelerate the commercialization, adoption and/or demonstration of innovative products, technologies, processes or services that increase agri-sector competitiveness and sustainability.

Associated links

Contacts

Katie Hawkins
Director of Communications 
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
katie.hawkins@canada.ca 
613-290-3896 (Cell)

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972 
aafc.mediarelations-relationsmedias.aac@canada.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @AAFC_Canada
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Jana Parker Smith
Communications Manager
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-566-7569

Andrew Sprague
Senior Communications Officer
Prince Edward Island Department of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture 
902-368-5535


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