Wild blueberry producers to benefit from federal funding

Harry Sullivan
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WBANS annual meeting opens with $700,000 announcement

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TRURO – The federal government is providing $700,000 to help promote Canada’s blueberry industry overseas.

Cumberland–Colchester–Musquodoboit Valley MP Scott Armstrong made the funding announcement this morning in Truro on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, at the start of the 42 annual general meeting of the Wild Blueberry Producers of Nova Scotia.

“Our Government is helping Canadian producers increase the volume of high-quality wild blueberry exports to target markets because we know trade creates jobs and economic growth," Armstrong said, during the announcement.

The money is to be used by the Canadian division of the Wild Blueberry Producers of North America (WBANA) to undertake market research and promotion and attend key international trade shows to increase awareness to overseas countries of the value, quality, and diversity of Canadian wild blueberries."

Canada is the world's largest producer and exporter of wild blueberries with exports in 2011 valued at $199 million. Blueberries are also Canada's number-one fruit export. In rural communities in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, wild blueberries contribute significantly to the agricultural industry, representing $86 million in farm-gate value last year.

More to follow.

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