N.B. cranberry plant’s packing operations funded

Freezing and packaging capacity have officially been added to the Atlantic Mist Cranberries facility in eastern New Brunswick, with a federal loan and provincial funds to assist.

The company on Monday officially opened its expanded plant at Richibucto-Village, about 80 km north of Moncton, and displayed its new packaging equipment and freezer facilities, which are expected to allow it to diversify into frozen Grade A cranberries in its product line.

“This new facility, owned by farmers, will enable our cranberry growers to package premium Grade A fruit for export, primarily to Europe, thus adding value to their crop,” Ken Streatch, president of Sunberry Cranberry Producers and board chairman of Atlantic Mist Cranberries, said in a federal release Monday.

The federal Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s business development program (BDP) has put up a $500,000 repayable loan for the expansion, while the province has pledged an investment of $363,400.

Keith Ashfield, the federal minister responsible for the ACOA, said the project would “enable our communities to capitalize on local advantages.”

The company in 2007 opened the new processing facility at Richibucto-Village to clean, sort and grade cranberries for growers in the region.

That original new facility was built with about $406,000 in provincial funds, over $383,000 through ACOA and over $346,000 from the company itself.

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