The Honourable Elvis Loveless, Minister of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture, today announced a $1.25-million investment to help establish vegetable cold storage and packing facilities in Robinsons and Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
Spruce Meadow Farms, near Happy Valley-Goose Bay, will receive $250,000 in provincial funding under the vegetable cold storage development program, and $242,975 under the federal-provincial Canadian Agricultural Partnership, to construct a regional cold storage and packaging facility for Labrador.
Southwestern Newfoundland Farmers Group Ltd, a cooperative of seven farmers from the Southwest Coast region of the island portion of the province, will receive $750,000 in provincial funding under the Regional Vegetable Cold Storage Development Program to help establish a new vegetable storage and secondary processing facility in Robinsons.
Access to adequate, certified cold storage facilities is vital for farmers to extend their marketing periods, meet wholesaler requirements for consistent quality and supply, and increase opportunities for secondary processing. Establishing cooperative cold storage facilities in these regions is intended to give producers the infrastructure they need to increase production and improve vegetable quality and food self-sufficiency in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Expressions of Interest to establish regional, certified cold storage and packing facilities were considered from individuals, producer cooperatives or associations, and applications that best met regional requirements were accepted. This initiative advances the Provincial Government’s plans to develop a stronger economic foundation and increase food self-sufficiency to 20 per cent by 2022. The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a federal-provincial-territorial initiative providing $37 million over five years to the Newfoundland and Labrador agriculture and agri-food industry.
“Vegetable cold storage is a real need in our province’s agriculture sector. These projects will enable farmers to extend their marketing periods and meet wholesaler requirements by providing the vital infrastructure they need to increase production and improve vegetable quality. With access to safe, healthy food on everyone’s minds, addressing real needs in farming through innovative, practical initiatives has never been more important. I look forward to seeing our farmers increase their markets and profits as we continue to improve food self-sufficiency in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
– Honorable Elvis Loveless, Minister of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture
“Advancing plans for the construction of a regional cold storage and packaging facility for Labrador will greatly improve the quality of vegetables grown in Labrador and address supply issues that have hampered the agricultural industry. The facility under construction at Spruce Meadow Farms will benefit consumers, especially residents living in isolated Labrador communities, and improve their access to local and fresh vegetables.”
– Honourable Lisa Dempster, Minister Responsible for Labrador Affairs, Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women
“On behalf of the federal government, we look forward to seeing the beneficial impact of cold storage facilities in the region. This investment was made possible in partnership with the province and local farming groups who work tirelessly to offer fresh, local produce for their communities. Now, with these cold storage facilities, farmers can expand and increase their offerings on a local level. This will help food security and self-sufficiency within the region. This indeed will open the door for more exciting opportunities in the local agricultural sector.”
– Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador on behalf of the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
“The Southwest Coast region is one of the breadbaskets of Newfoundland and Labrador and is home to many of our province’s most productive and experienced farmers. This new facility in Robinsons will ensure those farmers will be able to safely store and profitably sell more of their harvests. I’m delighted to see this investment in our growing agriculture sector and I look forward to the contribution this investment will make toward our government’s provincial food self-sufficiency goals.”
– Scott Reid, MHA for St. George’s – Humber
“This investment in food sufficiency and security takes full advantage of vegetables and fruit produced right here in Labrador. The ability to have nutritious, locally grown foods stored in Lake Melville means that all parts of Labrador can avail of this produce over an extended period. The capacity of this storage can even address supply chain issues that may arise outside our Province. From the perspective of local farmers, the ability to store more if not all of their produce for regional consumption is a ‘game changer’ for them and for consumers.”
– Perry Trimper, MHA for Lake Melville
“When we talk about doubling food self-sufficiency in fruit and vegetable production in this province – especially Labrador – this is the way to do it. It’s been a challenge for our local farmers to compete with producers from other provinces bringing products to Labrador at harvest time – with a storage facility right here, we can ensure fresh, local products are more readily available right here, and help address a critical supply issue, especially on Labrador’s north coast. This is especially important to our young farmers, and establishing a cold storage facility here is going to have a huge impact on securing farmers in Labrador for future generations.”
– Tom Angiers, Spruce Meadow Farms
“Thanks to this investment from the Provincial Government, our partners are establishing a much-needed vegetable cold storage facility on the Southwest Coast. This infrastructure will give our farmers an opportunity to plant more crops, over-winter more vegetables, utilize valuable agriculture land to the fullest, and offer retailers stable pricing with the assurance of a long-term, sustainable vegetable supply. This is an important next step in growing our agriculture operations, and creating meaningful long-term, year-round jobs in a sector that means so much to the future of our region, and to our province.”
– Louis MacDonald, Southwestern Newfoundland Farmers Group Inc.