Improving access to fresh, local food across Cape Breton
Cape Breton Food Hub to expand links between food producers and consumers
August 24, 2020 – Bras d’Or, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Canada’s food and beverage industry has been hit hard by COVID-19. The Government of Canada is taking significant action to help the industry through this difficult period, and is committed to giving businesses the tools they need to be part of our economic recovery and emerge stronger and more competitive than before. Innovation is essential to making this a reality, which is why the government is working closely with producers and organizations to help them sustain and create jobs and increase production.
Federal support helping small farmers and agri-food producers across Cape Breton to sustain and create jobs and increase production
Jaime Battiste, Member of Parliament for Sydney-Victoria, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, today announced a non-repayable ACOA investment of $556,935 in the Pan Cape Breton Food Hub Co-operative Limited. The funding will expand the organization’s services and product lines, including the upgrade of a certified food processing, storage and distributing facility. It will also support a two-year pilot program to analyze the impact of season-extension equipment (high tunnels) on farm growth and productivity.
Local farm produce will be processed, frozen and stored at the updated facility. New products and meal kits will also be developed in a commercial kitchen, which will function as an innovation center for business, product development and training. This will allow the Cape Breton Food Hub to operate year round, extend the season for fresh produce and expand the type of foods producers can offer.
Today’s announcement is further proof of the Government of Canada’s commitment to Canadian food and beverage-based businesses – helping them not just survive, but thrive. Initiatives like these will help get Canadians back to work and ensure that our food sector can play a major role in Canada’s economic recovery.
“The food and beverage sector is a crucial part of Atlantic Canada’s economy, supporting thousands of good jobs and creating opportunities across the region. This important investment from ACOA will help Cape Breton producers not just survive, but thrive. Our message to them is clear: we’ve been here for you with immediate measures, we’re here for you as our economy reopens and we’ll get through this, together. We’re working with you to support good, local jobs and help Atlantic Canada’s economy come back strong.”
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA
“The Cape Breton Food Hub provides valuable opportunities for small farmers and food producers to sell products outside of their traditional markets and earn additional revenue. The organization also encourages Islanders to buy local and eat the fresh, nutritious options we have right here. The Government of Canada is proud to support the Cape Breton Food Hub and its ambitious plans to help small agri-food producers grow.”
- Jaime Battiste Member of Parliament for Sydney-Victoria
“This processing facility, will change the local food landscape in Cape Breton by creating opportunities, increasing access to local foods, and incubating food businesses.”
- Alicia Lake, Executive Director, Cape Breton Food Hub
“Invest Nova Scotia is pleased to be a funding partner with the Cape Breton Food Hub. This organization does tremendous work, and this project expands their positive impact on the community, small scale farming and hospitality industries. We believe this is a perfect example of how innovation and bold leadership can create new economic opportunities for Nova Scotia.”
- Graham Eisenhauer, Chair of the Board of Directors, Invest Nova Scotia
“The Cape Breton Partnership is proud to recognize the Pan Cape Breton Food Hub Co-operative as a valued partner and supporter. Cape Breton Island’s future depends greatly on the commitment of its business and community leaders, as well as the organizations and institutions they represent. We believe the Cape Breton Food Hub will play a leading role in driving the island’s future food and farming prosperity.”
- Carla Arsenault, President and CEO, Cape Breton Partnership
Formed in 2015, the Cape Breton Food Hub is a multi-stakeholder, non-profit co-operative that distributes local food across Cape Breton Island and promotes consumer awareness as well as educational activities related to the local food sector.
In 2019, the Cape Breton Food Hub had 280 consumer members, more than 40 producer members and 50 volunteers engaged throughout the year.
The funding announced today is provided through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund, which supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development and facilitates economic innovation.
The Cape Breton Partnership is providing a $50,000 grant towards this initiative. On July 30, 2020, the Province of Nova Scotia, through Invest NS, announced $500,000 toward this project.
Office of the Minister of Economic
Development and Official Languages
A/Director, Communications, Nova Scotia
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Cape Breton Food Hub
President and CEO
Cape Breton Partnership
Media Relations Advisor
Department of Business
Government of Nova Scotia
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