N.S. berry processor plans major freezer expansion

A Nova Scotia firm considered the world’s largest supplier of frozen wild blueberries plans to invest $5.6 million in added freezer space.

Oxford Frozen Foods of Oxford, N.S., about 75 km northwest of Truro, will get a $5 million interest-bearing term loan from the province’s business development agency, Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) toward the expansion.

The project is expected to create another 20 million pounds of freezer capacity.

“Increased global competition and instability in the global market have changed the game for Oxford Frozen Foods,” company CEO John Bragg said in a provincial release Friday.

The company, which exports its products to Europe, Asia and the Americas, sees the investments as boosting its competitiveness by helping it expand its supply and processing business, he said.

“This also strengthens our commitment to the 1,000 or more wild blueberry producers in the province by allowing us to process and store the wild blueberries they grow,” he said.

Oxford is also Canada’s largest processor and producer of frozen carrots, the province noted in its release, sourcing “millions” of pounds of raw product from Nova Scotia growers.

The company also processes diced onions, cranberries and frozen rutabaga and operates an appetizer manufacturing plant, making onion rings, cheese sticks and battered vegetables.

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