OTTAWA, ON, July 22, 2023 /CNW/ – During her recent visit to New Brunswick, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, met with local entrepreneurs, producers, government representatives, and industry experts in the agriculture and agri-food sector. The Minister took part in roundtable discussions and tours highlighting the diversity of New Brunswick’s agri-food production and its contribution to the region’s sustainable development.
Minister Bibeau’s visit to New Brunswick began with a tour and a roundtable at the Jardin Botanique du Nouveau-Brunswick in Saint-Jacques, located in the north-west of the province. The Minister was accompanied by René Arseneault, MP for Madawaska – Restigouche and several agricultural stakeholders and local mayors. During the roundtable, discussions were held on various agri-food industries, including poultry, dairy maple syrup, lamb, haskap and potatoes.
Minister Bibeau also visited Chinova Bioworks Inc. in Fredericton, with Jenika Atwin, Member of Parliament for Fredericton. The company is one of six finalists competing in the Food Waste Reduction Challenge – Novel Technologies Streams. The company demonstrated how it uses mushrooms to create a natural, clean-label ingredient that improves the quality, freshness and shelf-life of food and beverage products, and ultimately reduces food waste from farm to fork. As a semi-finalist in the Challenge, Chinova received $100,000 in January 2022 to build a prototype of their innovative technology. In January 2023, the company received an additional $450,000 as a Challenge finalist to test their technology in an operational environment. Chinova is now competing for one of two Challenge grand prizes of up to $1 million, to be announced in Spring 2024.
Minister Bibeau concluded her New Brunswick tour in Sackville with a visit at the Tantramar Grasslands Co-operative Limited, one of 25 research sites as part of Living Lab – New Brunswick. The Minister and her colleague, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, participated in a roundtable with partners of this project. The discussion centered on the program’s collaborative efforts among producers, scientists and industry partners, as well as on the importance of adopting beneficial management practices such as rotational grazing practices and soil sequestration and how they can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Minister Bibeau also toured many innovative agricultural enterprises while in New Brunswick, including the Fromagerie de la République, in Saint-Basile, Cormier – Producteur de légumes farm in Rivière Verte, and W.A. Farm, a family-owned pork farm in Salisbury. She also visited the Dieppe Farmers Market, where she met with local producers and vendors.
One of the highlights of the Minister’s tour in New Brunswick was the annual Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Agriculture Conference, which she co-chaired with the Honourable Margaret Johnson, Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture, and Fisheries of New Brunswick. At the annual conference, Ministers underlined the importance of collaborating to ensure that producers and processors in Canada have the supports they need to continue to feed Canadians and a growing global population.
- In 2022, New Brunswick has seen significant economic growth with farm cash receipts topping $1.1 billion, a record for the province, while agri-food exports also hit a record high at $689 million.
- According to the 2021 census of agriculture, New Brunswick is comprised of 1,851 farms across a variety of commodities including dairy, poultry, maple syrup, wild blueberries, mixed fruits and vegetables, and potatoes.
SOURCE Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada