Apr 23, 2019Canada gives $1.6M for wild blueberry marketing
Canadian officials on Tuesday visited Services Agricoles Savoie in Néguac, New Brunswick to announce $1.6 million in government funds for marketing Canadian wild blueberries.
The money will go to the Canadian Division of the Wild Blueberry Association of North America (WBANA Canada) to market and promote Canadian wild blueberries internationally.
WBANA Canada is a national, not-for-profit group representing about 2,500 growers and four major processors from Eastern Canada. The funding was provided under the AgriMarketing Program of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
“With their sweet rich taste and incredible health benefits, Canadian wild blueberries are a crop with enormous potential,” Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of agriculture and agri-food said in a press release.
Bibeau was joined at the event in Néguac by Pat Finnigan, Member of Parliament for Miramichi-Grand Lake, and Neri Vautour, executive director of WBANA (Canada).
“WBANA Canada members, producers and processors, are very fortunate to have Federal programs like the AgriMarketing program in place to assist them in expanding their industry by helping to create more demand for Canadian Wild Blueberries,” Vautour said in the press release.
The investment is aimed at expanding wild blueberry demand in the United States, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Japan, China and South Korea. Promotional activities will include social media campaigns, health and baking seminars. Canadian branding campaigns will focus on the taste, safety and health benefits of frozen berries and processed products.
WBANA Canada will also host incoming trade missions from Japan and China and participate in various trade shows and special health-related events.
Canada is the world’s largest producer and exporter of Wild Blueberries, with exports worth an estimated $239 million reaching over 30 countries, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. New Brunswick is Canada’s second largest wild blueberry producing province, accounting for 30% of the country’s total production. In 2018 New Brunswick produced 23,117 metric tones of wild blueberries worth $20.5 million.
Top photo: From the left are Pat Finnigan, Member of Parliament for Miramichi – Grand Lake; Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canadian minister of agriculture and agri-food; Neri Vautour, Canadian Division of the Wild Blueberry Association of North America; and Bernard Savoie, owner of Services Agricoles Savoie in Néguac, New Brunswick. Photos: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.