Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

June 23, 2008 11:06 ET

Governments Invest $772,680 to Revitalize New Brunswick Orchards and Vineyards

MEMRAMCOOK, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - June 23, 2008) - The Government of Canada and the Province of New Brunswick are delivering real action for New Brunswick farmers by investing up to $772,680 to help tree fruit and grape growers meet new market demands.

The announcement was made today by Rob Moore, Member of Parliament for Fundy Royal, on behalf of Gerry Ritz, Federal Minister of Agriculture and New Brunswick Minister of Agriculture and Aquaculture Ronald Ouellette.

"The Government of Canada is listening to farmers from coast to coast and delivering the help they need, when they need it," said Mr. Moore. "New Brunswick's tree fruit and grape industries are changing their operations to stay competitive, and this Government is supporting them through that transition."

"These investments will allow tree fruit and grape growers to be responsive to marketplace demands by removing varieties which are no longer required, and replanting with varieties that are in demand and grown under more efficient and productive systems," said Minister Ouellette. "The revitalization of these sectors will allow agriculture to be a full participant in our government's objective of achieving self-sufficiency."

Federal funding of up to $463,680 is being made available under the Orchards and Vineyards Transition Program in New Brunswick and is designed to assist producers in the removal of fruit trees and vines and to help industry organizations develop strategic commodity plans.

The province is contributing up to $309,000 under the New Brunswick Apple Industry Development Initiative to help apple growers plant new varieties, improve their post-harvest apple storage systems, enhance on-farm food safety and quality control assurance requirements, and prepare orchards for replanting. The first $100,000 of this funding was announced in May 2007 and is being used by the apple sector.

For further information on the Canada-New Brunswick Orchards and Vineyards Transition Program, please call the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture at 1-506-453-2108.

A backgrounder on the Canada-New Brunswick Orchards and Vineyards Transition Program is attached.

BACKGROUNDER

Canada-New Brunswick Orchards and Vineyards Transition Program

The Orchards and Vineyards Transition Program (OVTP), which runs until March 31, 2011, will allow New Brunswick tree fruit and grape growers to apply for funding to help cover some of the costs associated with removing fruit trees or vines, and for industry associations to develop strategic commodity plans.

In order to be eligible, producers who participate in the OVTP will need an orchard or vineyard that is a minimum 0.25 hectares in size, and will have to commit to keeping the land in agriculture or available to agriculture for five years.

Eligible producers who have removed fruit trees or vines as of October 25, 2007 or later, will receive financial assistance of up to $4,000 per hectare to cover some of the costs of removing plant stock.

Of the $463,680 in federal funds, up to $19,200 will be available to industry associations to develop strategic commodity plans.

The New Brunswick Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture will deliver the program.

The provincial contribution of $309,000 complements the OVTP, and includes $100,000 under the New Brunswick Apple Industry Development Initiative announced in May 2007 to help apple growers plant new varieties, improve their post-harvest apple storage systems, enhance on-farm food safety and quality control assurance requirements, and prepare orchards for replanting.

Implementing changes to an orchard or vineyard is very costly because of the time it takes for trees and vines to mature and provide a good return on investment. The funding being provided to these industries is aimed at helping growers with some of the costs associated with implementing the changes they need to make to remain competitive.

For further information on the Canada-New Brunswick Orchards and Vineyards Transition Program, please call the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture at 1-506-453-2108.

Apple Sector

New Brunswick is one of five apple-producing provinces in Canada and last year produced 300,000 bushels. The local industry is made up of 27 growers with an estimated 300 hectares of apples. The McIntosh variety makes up half of the province's apple production. The Cortland accounts for 25 per cent of production and the Paula Red about 7 per cent. The newer Honeycrisp variety makes up about 3.5 per cent. The remaining 15 per cent is made up of a mix of varieties.

Grape Sector

The grape growing industry in New Brunswick is in its infancy. The development of winter-hardy rootstock has led to increased interest in grape production in the province. Currently there are 30 members in the New Brunswick Grape Growers Association (NBGGA), growing both white and red grape varieties on 30 hectares. Most of the growers are located in microclimates in the area north of Moncton along the Northumberland Strait and in the southwest region between Moncton and Saint John along the Bay of Fundy, with a few other members located south of Fredericton.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Margaux Stastny
    Press Secretary
    613-759-1059
    or
    New Brunswick Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture
    Alain Bryar
    Communications
    506-444-4218