November 16, 2012 By Press release
November 16, 2012, Truro, NS – Canada’s wild blueberry industry will increase its international competitiveness, thanks to an investment by the federal government.
The Canadian division of the Wild Blueberry Association of North America (WBANA Canada) plans to develop and enhance international markets for wild blueberries with the assistance of the $700,000 investment, announced Nov. 16.
Canada is the world’s largest producer and exporter of wild blueberries. In 2011, exports were valued at $199 million, making wild blueberries Canada’s number-one fruit export. In rural communities in Quebec and Atlantic Canada, wild blueberries contribute significantly to the agricultural industry, representing $86 million in farm-gate value in 2011.
“WBANA is very grateful for this federal government investment, which will help us develop new worldwide demand for Canadian wild blueberries,” said John Cameron, who represents Nova Scotia industry on WBANA Canada’s board. “The growth of new market demand means more production and more employment in many rural areas of eastern Canada. I don’t think you could have a better partnership or a better example of how industry and government working together can accomplish positive results.
The funding announcement is part of an $88-million investment provided through the AgriMarketing Program, which helps industry implement long-term international strategies that will enhance the sector’s marketing capacity, innovation, and competitiveness.
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