FREDERICTON (GNB) – New Brunswickers are reminded that the benefits of buying local food and beverages go beyond eating well. Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet says buying local also supports the economy, fosters job creation, and reduces New Brunswick’s carbon footprint.

The provincial government has identified local food and beverages as a key opportunity in the New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan.

“New Brunswick has a large quantity of farmland, and a long history of agricultural success,” said Doucet. “That, along with the natural entrepreneurial spirit of New Brunswickers, will allow us to capitalize on this opportunity for growing the economy.”

In past generations, New Brunswickers subsisted largely on food grown and produced within the province. That changed with globalization, as imported food became more readily available.

In recent years, however, demand for locally grown and produced goods has been revitalized by the popularity of farmers’ markets and an interest in niche and regional foods.

“These days, people want to know where their food comes from,” said Doucet. “We are fortunate to live in a part of the world where we can produce nutritious, delicious food affordably. By helping New Brunswickers make informed decisions about buying local, we can help grow the economy and create jobs.”

The department is leading the imple­mentation of the government’s Local Food and Beverage Strategy, with co-operation from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, the Department of Health, and Opportunities NB.