Food producers in New Brunswick have a new way to bring their products to market thanks in part to investments from the federal and provincial governments.
Real Food Connections in Fredericton operates a retail facility specializing in New Brunswick-produced food and beverages and also promotes local food and food sustainability through its food-box delivery program.
The company developed the idea of an on-site kitchen and storage facility to provide processing services to local food producers who may not otherwise have access to a professional, licensed kitchen or cold storage.
“We are committed to assisting local growers and producers in getting their products to market,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet, who is also minister responsible for Opportunities NB. “This project is a terrific example of the business community stepping forward with a creative idea to assist local farmers. We are proud to support Real Food Connections in this initiative. Supporting our local food producers is another way of fostering an environment for job growth and supporting our families.”
“Our government is pleased to be able to invest in a project that will add value and new markets to farm production in New Brunswick,” said Tobique-Mactaquac MP Mike Allen. “New innovative products from this facility will create opportunities for growth and profits at the farm gate.”
Allen attended the event for federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Gerry Ritz.
The company received $27,260 under the Assurance Systems Program and $10,840 under the Market Development, Product Enhancement and Diversification Program within the Canada-New Brunswick Growing Forward 2 Agreement. Opportunities NB provided $16,890 to support capital costs.
“Today’s announcement means we can expand into processing and help develop new food products for domestic sale and export and build on New Brunswick’s primary farm production,” said Real Food Connections founder Levi Lawrence. “There is a demand out there. What has been missing is the processing which we can now offer with this funding support.”
The Canada-New Brunswick Growing Forward 2 agreement is a five-year, $37 million investment in new and traditional programs covering research and innovation, market and business development, and environmental stewardship. The agreement runs until 2018.
Department of Agriculture,
Aquaculture and Fisheries,
Office of the federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister,
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada,