Funding allotted to expand apple processing technology in Atlantic Canada
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,” said Minister Bibeau.
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 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.
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.
“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,” said Blake Sarsfield, president of the Ocean Crisp Apple Company.