FLORENCEVILLE-BRISTOL (GNB) – A second Economic Opportunities Summit on agriculture was hosted on Thursday by the provincial government.

“As your government, we are focused on growing the economy and creating jobs for New Brunswickers,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “Agriculture is an important industry for our economy, and we believe there is an opportunity to encourage new farmers in New Brunswick.

“There are many things we have done to boost agriculture, such as work on opening up new markets for our agri-food products, using local foods and beverages to enhance tourism, as well as encouraging New Brunswickers to buy local.”

Discussions focused on the actions implemented over the past year, such as the launch of the Local Food and Beverages Strategy and the Road Map for New Entrants to farming, as well as the identification of future opportunities for growth in the agriculture sector. Value-added products and new markets were also discussed as ways to increase sales both domestically and abroad.

With additional input from stakeholders, the provincial government will continue to work to identify opportunities for growth in the sector.

Participants included representatives from La Fleur du Pommier, the Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick, and Southan Farms.

"I am pleasantly surprised at how well the feedback from the first summit was heard and acted upon,” said Amanda Wildeman, executive director of the National Farmers Union in New Brunswick. “It has been a long time since agriculture has been the focus of so much government time and money. There is always room for improvement, and I look forward to seeing more work done to support farmers of all sizes grow their businesses.”

The event was a follow-up to a series of Economic Opportunities Summits held throughout the province to identify new prospects for job creation and economic growth.