Investments in Wild Blueberries Support Industry Growth
Nova Scotia’s wild blueberry products are enjoyed around the world and the industry has potential for more growth. With support from the province, wild blueberry producers will develop new products and packaging that add value to their products, to help open new markets.
Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell was joined by the Wild Blueberry Producers Association today, Nov.5, to announce $650,000 over three years for research and development projects, including improved packaging. Another $280,000 over two years will help fund the annual Wild Blueberry Solutions Challenge that encourages continuous development of value-added blueberry products.
“Wild blueberries are Nova Scotia’s leading agricultural export and we know there is untapped potential available for the sector’s future growth,” said Mr. Colwell. “We are supporting our wild blueberry producers to help them grow their sales in domestic markets, pursue new export markets and develop new products that will bring higher prices for their berries.”
The Wild Blueberry Producers Association of Nova Scotia has tested new automated equipment using lasers to sort fresh wild blueberries. The pilot project at Millen Farms in Great Village, Colchester Co., represents new and ongoing research and development being supported by the province.
Other research and development projects include consumer research, marketing, branding and packaging initiatives linked to consumer demand for fresh wild blueberry products.
The Wild Blueberry Solutions Challenge encourages continuous development of value-added blueberry products. The Wild Blueberry Solutions Challenge 2018 winners were Jus Nova Agriculture Ltd. and Fundy Drinks Ltd. Jus Nova is developing a wild blueberry smoothie featuring plant-based protein. Fundy Drinks developed a wild blueberry sparkling water drink under their VIVEAU brand resulting in a blend of Nova Scotia wild blueberries and lightly carbonated mineral water.
This project enabled us to pack a better-quality fresh blueberry with reduced labour. This has enabled us to get real knowledge on whether this technology could work for wild blueberries.
Brandon Millen, Millen Farms
This project will help wild blueberry growers who are looking to add value to their crops, while also giving consumers more ways to enjoy this wonderful Nova Scotian berry.
Barron Blois, president, Wild Blueberry Producers Association of Nova Scotia
Jus Nova is extremely honoured to have the opportunity to bring our vision of innovative, healthy snacks to life. And we are proud that our product features Nova Scotia’s provincial berry – The Wild Blueberry.
Yaun Yao, director, Jus Nova Agriculture Ltd.
With the support of the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, VIVEAU has been able to access the necessary resources to succeed in both the domestic and Asian markets. We are very proud to be supporting local growers and showcasing the unparalleled fruit offering of Nova Scotia.
Ted Grant, President of Fundy Drinks Ltd.
- funding for these projects comes from the Building Tomorrow Fund, a three-year, $9-million provincial investment in agriculture, fishing and aquaculture
- the Wild Blueberry Solutions Challenge is a competition among Nova Scotia companies to develop innovative value-added products and packaging solutions. This is a joint initiative between the Department of Agriculture and the Wild Blueberry Producers Association of Nova Scotia
- wild blueberries are Nova Scotia’s largest agriculture export at $104.4 million in 2018
For more information about the Department of Agriculture, visit: https://novascotia.ca/agri/
For learn about the Wild Blueberry Producers Association of Nova Scotia, visit:
For more information about VIVEAU, visit: https://drinkviveau.com/
For more information about Jus Nova, visit: http://www.jusnova.ca/