Minister Bibeau announces funding to expand apple processing technology in Atlantic Canada

News release

August 12, 2019 – Kentville, Nova Scotia – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Today, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced nearly $2.5 million in federal funding for the purchase and installation of advanced apple processing technologies to enable Ocean Crisp Apple Company Inc. to increase capacity and improve efficiency. 

An investment of $1,978,157, is being provided under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AgriInnovate Program. Minister Bibeau also announced, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, an additional contribution of $500,000 from Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency's (ACOA) Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program.

The project supports the purchase and installation of first-in-Canada automated and robotic equipment that will increase capacity, improve efficiency and quality, and reduce water usage. Other major Atlantic apple producers will benefit by being granted access to the advanced equipment, which will support the province in sending premium apple varieties, such as Honeycrisp, to high-value export markets.

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector. The Partnership includes programs and activities to enhance the competitiveness of the sector through research, science and innovation.


"Food and beverage products in Nova Scotia are world-renowned for their excellence, thanks to food producers and processors, like Ocean Crisp Apple Company, who follow the highest standards for safety and quality. This investment which supports the adoption of innovative technologies will help the apple industry in Atlantic Canada keep up with increasing demand for their high quality products. This kind of investment is vital to growing the middle class and bringing the region's premium apples to consumers here in Canada and around the world."

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

"The Government of Canada is proud to support Canadian agri-food producers, processors and value chain partners that have earned a global reputation as a supplier of safe and high-quality products. By helping companies to accelerate the adoption of advanced machinery and digital automation tools, we are furthering Canada's economic food strategy goal to achieve multi-billion dollar targets by 2025."

- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

"Ocean Crisp Apple Company is pleased to promote Maritime grown apples. Nova Scotia's climate and growing conditions for producing premium Honeycrisp apples is a known fact in the North American marketplace. Funding for the sector helps grow the local economy and innovation within the industry enables this region to be competitive in the global marketplace. We are grateful for the federal, provincial and regional support for the industry as this project will benefit the growing apple industry and enable regional growers and packers to work together to bring our premium fruit to new and expanding markets."

- Blake Sarsfield, President, Ocean Crisp Apple Company

Quick facts

  • 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.

  • Ocean Crisp Apple Company Inc. was established in June 2017 and operates packing, juice/cider, and storage facilities in Kentville and Windsor, Nova Scotia. The company is one of the largest single suppliers of premium variety apples in Nova Scotia.

  • In 2017, the farm gate value for apples in the Maritimes reached $24.7 million, an increase of $9.2 million from 2011 due to the success of high value cultivars such as Honeycrisp and Ambrosia apples.

  • The Business Scale-up and Productivity stream of the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program supports businesses at various stages of development, including high-growth firms, to accelerate their growth, help them scale up and enhance their productivity and competitiveness in both domestic and global markets.

Associated links


Katie Hawkins
Director of Communications 
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food 
613-290-3896 (Cell)

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
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Chris Brooks
Director, Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-426-9417 / 902-830-3839 (Cell)

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