Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Government of Prince Edward Island

Government of Prince Edward Island

November 23, 2009 09:45 ET

Government of Canada and Prince Edward Island Partnering to Give Local Farmers Better Access to Global Markets

KENSINGTON, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND--(Marketwire - Nov. 23, 2009) - The Government of Canada and Prince Edward Island are partnering together to invest more than $6 million in a local oil extraction facility that will provide farmers with a new rotational crop and give them access to lucrative and growing global markets for new foods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Today, the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and Allan Campbell, Minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning made the announcement that will help Nature's Crops International build a local bio-refinery.

This investment will introduce new-to-Canada technology to process specialty oilseeds for the global market. It is expected to create 19 full time positions and generate $5.4 million in annual farm gate receipts.

"Farmers want to make their money from the marketplace with innovative and sustainable crops," said Minister Shea, who made the announcement on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Keith Ashfield. "Our Government is making smart investments for a bio-refinery that will boost the local economy and give farmers a market for profitable new crops."

"Today's announcement is an excellent example of applying new innovative technologies to create economic growth in our agriculture industry," said Allan Campbell, Minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning. "The Government of P.E.I. is pleased to make this investment which will create a more sustainable agriculture sector with the introduction new crops, new markets and new long-term jobs for Islanders living in rural P.E.I."

"P.E.I. offers us the competitive advantage of the right climate, good growers, the right quality of product and a great talent pool to draw on for a growing business," said Andrew Hebard, president and CEO of Nature's Crop International. "We are building a plant that will process 20,000 to 30,000 acres of new crop alternatives on P.E.I. and generate premium prices for our growers."

The site was chosen because of its proximity to world-class research into natural plant-based bioactives, including the work being done at the Crops and Livestock Research Centre in Charlottetown. This project builds on an existing federal partnership with the University of P.E.I. and the National Research Council to use the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometer to analyze plants and develop their commercial potential.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is providing $3 million in repayable funding under its Agri-Opportunities program, which introduces innovative new agri-products, processes or services into the marketplace. Another $500,000 comes from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

The Province of Prince Edward Island is investing $1.958 million through the Central Development Corporation, which will buy the building and lease it to the company; a $655,000 labour rebate tied to job creation; a $200,000 grant for the pilot bio-refinery and $240,000 from the P.E.I. Department of Agriculture for crop trials.

For more information on the Agri-Opportunities program please visit www.agr.gc.ca/agri-opportunities.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-773-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Meagan Murdoch
    Press Secretary
    613-773-1059
    or
    Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
    Charlottetown, PEI
    Cindy Roy
    902-566-7569
    or
    P.E.I. Department of Innovation & Advanced Learning
    Kim Devine
    Director of Communications
    902-620-3774