Provincial Farm Organization Applauds Government Commitment to Promote Local Food, but Expresses Concern over Future Supply of Clean Water

(Rogersville, N.B.)- Jean-Eudes Chiasson, President of the National Farmers Union in New Brunswick, has said he is very pleased with the provincial government’s commitment to the value-added food sector and the promotion of local community food products, as stated in the throne speech read on Tuesday, November 27, in Fredericton.

Chiasson said, “Members of the NFU in NB applaud this initiative by our government to strengthen local food production and this public commitment to promote local community food products to residents, visitors and businesses. Our farm members look forward to the opportunity to work with the Premier, Minister Olscamp, and the DAAF staff to implement these promises.”

However, Chiasson also points out that farmers rely on safe and abundant water to produce high quality food for public consumption. In light of the government’s decision to proceed with development of the shale gas sector in the province, an industry which has been reported to have potential negative impacts on safe ground water supply, Chiasson expressed concern.

At their 2012, Annual General Meeting, members of the NFU in NB passed a resolution recommending that a cost-benefit analysis be done by an objective third party before exploration for shale gas be permitted in the province. NFU in NB Executive Director, Melanie Jellett, indicated that that the requested analysis "should include the impact upon water and air quality, road infrastructure, property devaluation and consequent property taxes, tourism, forestry and agriculture".

Chiasson said members of the NFU in NB believe that the government’s expressed intention to proceed with development of an extractive industry such as shale gas runs counter to an investment in healthy communities and sustainable agriculture, since crop and livestock production depend heavily upon readily available clean water supplies.

The National Farmers Union in New Brunswick is one of two accredited general farm organizations in NB. The NFU has represented farm families in all agricultural commodities across Canada for over forty years. Its members work together to achieve farm policies, which will ensure dignity and security of income for farmers, while enhancing the land for future generations.

For more information contact us by email info@nfunb.org, telephone (506) 538-1189, and toll free at 1 (888) 246 5583 or visit the NFU in NB online at www.nfunb.org.

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Contact:

Melanie Jellett, NFU in NB Executive Director (506) 538-1189
Jean-Eudes Chiasson, NFU in NB President (506) 775-6033
 
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Local Food Media Release Dec 3 2012.pdf129.92 KB