Investment to support local food industry
February 28, 2017
February 28, 2017, FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has announced support for the local food industry with financial assistance for a Fredericton-based food company.
Opportunities NB will provide payroll support of $50,000 to help Locavore hire 10 new full-time employees.
Locavore will focus on processing locally grown foods and selling the value-added products to commercial markets. The company’s kitchen facility is certified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and provides co-packing services to small businesses in need of certified commercial kitchen space.
“This investment ties directly to two of the growth opportunities identified in the New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan: boosting new farmers and supporting the local food and beverage industry,” said Economic Development Minister Francine Landry, who is also minister responsible for Opportunities NB. “In addition to this, we are supporting two successful entrepreneurs who have taken on a new endeavour that will create jobs for New Brunswickers.”
The founders of Locavore, Sean Dunbar of Picaroons Traditional Ales and Jason LeJeune, co-owner of Isaac’s Way Restaurant and the Abbey Café, created the new company as part of their effort to provide more locally grown food to consumers.
“Locavore’s mission is to develop viable long-term market opportunities for local food producers,” said LeJeune. “We are committed to supporting local growers and consumers who are part of the buy-local food movement that is gaining momentum in the province.”
New Brunswick households spend $2.6 billion on food purchases each year, and much of that food is produced elsewhere. The total GDP contribution from food, including wholesale, retail and restaurants, is about $1 billion per year. Promoting locally produced food and beverages is an effort to increase that figure by import substitution.
Opportunities NB is a Crown corporation that seeks to attract and support opportunities to grow the economy and create jobs. It provides support services for businesses across the province.
From left: Stephen Lund, CEO of Opportunities NB; Jason LeJeune, co-founder of Locavore; deputy premier Stephen Horsman; and Fredericton Mayor Mike O’Brien.
Mary-Anne Hurley-Corbyn, communications, Opportunities NB, 506-476-7596.