SAINT-QUENTIN (GNB) – The federal and provincial governments have together invested almost $700,000 to help four maple sugar producers in Saint-Quentin expand and improve their competitiveness.

“The maple syrup industry is an important economic generator in northern New Brunswick,” said Economic Development Minister Paul Robichaud. “Investing in our local producers will help us build a stronger economy in northern New Brunswick and throughout the province.”

The funding will help maple syrup producers Guy Levesque Inc., Érablymax Inc., Érablière Laplante et Fils Inc. and Érablière du Nord-Ouest Inc.

“The maple sugar industry is in full-growth in Madawaska-Restigouche,” said Bernard Valcourt, minister of state for Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and La Francophonie. “These projects will enhance our ability to transform our resources and turn them into value-added products right here in New Brunswick. Our government's investments will enable local producers to modernize and expand their facilities while increasing efficiencies and production, thus ensuring long-term success and sustainable jobs in the region.”

At Érablière Guy Levesque Inc., the project will help expand the establishment by acquiring more efficient maple syrup processing equipment and adding 7,000 taps to existing operations.

Producer Érablymax Inc. will replace 15,000 taps, while Érablière Laplante et Fils Inc. will install 23,000 new taps.

The project at Érablière du Nord-Ouest Inc. involves the conversion of two oil-burning evaporators to a wood pellet system.

The federal government, through ACOA's Business Development Program, is contributing $530,350 toward the four projects while the provincial government is contributing $149,200. The four maple syrup producers will invest a total of $367,510.