FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is budgeting $415,000 to promote local food and beverages in 2017-18.

“Job creation and economic development are the top priorities of New Brunswickers and of government,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet. “New Brunswick households spend about $2.6 billion on food each year; imagine the economic development possibilities if even half of that food were produced right here at home.”

The funding will support action items contained in the department’s Local Food and Beverages Strategy released last fall, specifically support for new and expanding producers.

“Our producers make some of the best food in the world, right here in our backyards,” said Doucet. “With the right supports in place, we can help those producers get their goods to market.”

Doucet said the department is improving the Agri-Food Local Market Development Program, which helps build and enhance domestic market channels to increase the sale and consumption of locally-produced agri-food products within the province. 

Promotion of local food was identified as a key growth opportunity in the New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan.