FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is focusing efforts to strengthen New Brunswick’s food system.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of the resiliency of the province’s food supply,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Ross Wetmore. “This project will allow us to address risks to our food supply chain and target efforts to become more food self-sufficient.”

Work so far has confirmed that New Brunswick’s supply chain is resilient and that demand for most food products can be met. Exports are critical to the provincial economy, and the province is more than self-sufficient in export products such as seafood, blueberries, maple, cranberries and potatoes. The government intends to focus on opportunities to increase self-sufficiency in other products.

Already this year the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries has supported a number of projects such as extending the growing season with support for greenhouses, increasing on-farm storage capacity and supporting food and beverage businesses to build connections with clients. In the coming months, areas of focus include education, training, labour, market access and value-added opportunities. The department will work with several other government departments along with the food-producing sectors.

“I look forward to working with our vital agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries industries as we move forward,” said Wetmore. “We have a thriving food-producing sector in the province, and I would like to see it grow and feed more New Brunswickers.”