SAINT-ISIDORE (GNB) – The provincial government is supporting the establishment of a $25-million vegetable processing facility in Bois-Gagnon within the parish of Saint-Isidore. Once operational, the plant is expected to create 95 full-time jobs.

“Growing the economy and creating jobs in all regions is the focus of your government’s multi-year economic growth plan,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “It is great to see a business like this one invest and grow in New Brunswick because of our strong workforce. This investment will provide jobs in the Acadian Peninsula, allowing more people to live and work in the region.”

The vegetable processing facility is being built as an addition to Acadian Wild Blueberry Co.’s existing blueberry processing plant.

The creation of these 95 full-time positions is expected to generate an additional $6.2 million in GDP annually. The $25.1-million construction project is expected to create $15 million in provincial GDP and 239 jobs.

The provincial government is investing through a fully repayable interest-bearing $13-million loan from Opportunities NB, as well as a $3.75-million non-repayable contribution comprised of $500,000 from Opportunities NB and $3.25 million from the Regional Development Corporation. The return on investment from this repayable loan is expected to generate $11 million in net interest for provincial taxpayers.

“This support from Opportunities NB and the Government of New Brunswick will enable us to undertake a significant expansion,” said John Bragg, president and CEO of Oxford Frozen Foods, the parent company of Acadian Wild Blueberry Co. “This is a further commitment we are making to our employees and to the whole community in the Acadian Peninsula and to the province of New Brunswick. This new processing facility will allow for year-round operations here on the Acadian Peninsula and diversify our lines of business so that we can maintain a stronger market position. This is a great day for Oxford Frozen Foods and a great day for our Acadian Wild Blueberry employees here in Bois-Gagnon.”

Oxford Frozen Foods, founded by Bragg in 1968, has become the world’s largest provider of wild blueberries, as well as one of North America’s largest producers of frozen carrots and other products. Acadian Wild Blueberry Co. currently employs nine full-time and 119 part-time staff at its blueberry processing plant.