Jasper Wyman & Son Canada Inc., one of Canada’s largest wild blueberry producers is receiving $971,000 in federal government funding to increase exports and upgrade to new equipment.
Jasper Wyman & Son Canada Inc. farms approximately 1,200 acres of wild blueberries in Canada.
In addition to the federal funds, the company has also been granted a repayable contribution of $500,000 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency’s Business Development Program.
“This investment will be used to fund state-of-the-art processing technology that will enhance our ability to meet ever-increasing global customer demands for exceptional quality. Through strong collaboration with both the federal and provincial governments, we have been able to continue research and test innovative processing technologies in an attempt to deliver the highest quality wild blueberry product in the industry,” says Robert Mancini, VP, and CFO of Jasper Wyman & Son.
According to the release, the money will be used to install new equipment to more efficiently and precisely sort produce, while removing up to 99 per cent of defective berries. It will also help the company grow its exports and sales, increase processing capacity, reduce water and energy consumption, and hire additional staff.
The money falls under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AgriInnovate Program. A grant of $194,000 was also provided by the Government of Prince Edward Island through Innovation PEI to assist with the process.
Just last year, blueberries were Canada’s most valuable fruit export making up 58 per cent of total fruit exports with a farm gate value of over $243 million.