Canadian blueberry production has been growing steadily for the last several years with significant increases in revenue and demand driving production to provide blueberries. New Brunswick’s landscape and climate provide the ideal conditions for blueberry growth and production. That is why wild blueberry development has been identified as one of the key opportunities to pursue under the Economic Growth Plan.
Many areas of New Brunswick have land allotted for wild blueberry cultivation or the potential for development. There are 39,000 acres, both private and Crown land, currently under production in multiple locations and at various stages across the province, from the Acadian Peninsula to Charlotte County. The wild blueberry industry currently supports an estimated 360 full-time jobs.With the opening of a large blueberry primary processing plant in the northeast and the company’s expanded cold storage capacity, the industry has invested in infrastructure to grow even larger.
New Brunswick is positioned for industry growth production for both short- and long-term gains. For the wild blueberry sector to succeed, we need to:
- Diversify markets to find new global buyers;
- Increase secondary value-added opportunities to make the most of this resource;
- Create a consistent and secure supply of blueberries to meet future value-added demands;
- Increase storage capacity to stabilize inventory;
- Expand blueberry consumption within New Brunswick, using the Local Food and Beverage Strategy (another key opportunity under the Economic Growth Plan); and
- Identify opportunities for capital investment from the private sector.
The government recognizes that First Nations communities have an interest in becoming more involved in the industry, and is working with those communities to ensure that they have opportunities to participate.
More than 300 farm families are involved in the province’s wild blueberry industry. New Brunswick accounts for 25 per cent of Canada’s overall production. In partnership with government and stakeholders, the province’s blueberry industry more than tripled over the past decade.
The New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan is government’s plan to grow the economy and create job opportunities for New Brunswickers. It outlines how government will mobilize to ensure there is a coordinated, complementary effort to improve New Brunswick’s economy and realize maximum benefits.
Updated: August 2018
MEDIA CONTACT(S): Mary-Anne Hurley-Corbyn, communications, Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, (506) 453-5949, email@example.com