Government backing for new state-of-the-art apple packing plant at Canadian co-op

Scotian Gold Co-operative has used the funds to buy to new high-efficiency production lines

The Canadian government is investing up to $1.75m in Scotian Gold Cooperative to support an innovative new apple-packing facility in Coldbrook, Nova Scotia.

This investment has enabled producer-owned Scotian Gold, the largest apple packing and storage operation in Eastern Canada, to expand the site and buy two new high-efficiency production lines.

The co-op hopes the development will allow it to grow its and increase demand for Nova Scotian apples in Canada and the USA.

President and chief executive David Parrish said: “The new facility is an example of Scotian Gold’s willingness to invest in the future of our growers, our employees and the apple industry.

“Over the next number of years, the apple volume will increase for varieties such as Honeycrisp, Ambrosia and SweeTango. This facility will have the capability to supply Scotian Gold’s expanding markets in a timely and efficient manner.”

This repayable investment is being made through the Growing Forward 2, AgriInnovation Program, a five-year, up to $698 million initiative to develop Canada’s agricultural sector. The food and beverage processing industry is seen an important driver of national economic growth. In 2016, the Canadian apple industry generated $51 million in exports and over $220 million in farm gate receipts.

Scott Brison, president of the treasury board of Canada and MP for Kings–Hants, said: “The Government of Canada is committed to making investments in innovation to help keep pace with global competition.

“Investments such as this one will help Scotian Gold bring fresh, high quality apples to consumers, while expanding markets and strengthening the economy.”

Scotian Gold dates back to 1912, when a group of growers formed the United Fruit Companies of Nova Scotia, which was reorganised into its current form in 1957.

It now has 30 farmer members, and markets fruit from another 25 farmers; the co-op stores and packs 50% of the apple production in Nova Scotia.

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