Fredericton, NB— The National Farmers Union in NB welcomes the Local Food and Beverages Strategy announced today by Minister Rick Doucet. The NFU-NB has been an advocate for local food policy for nearly a decade, and we are pleased that this government is recognizing the important asset NB has in our agricultural land base, our farmers and our fishers.
While a strategy is not as strong as policy, this local food and beverages strategy was specifically named as one of the economic drivers in the NB Economic Growth Plan announced last month, which gives it a unique interdepartmental mandate. We will be watching closely for the annual reports and continually pushing for new action items to be included as the ones currently listed are completed.
The Buy-Achetez-NB logo is an essential element so that whether a consumer is at a farmers market, a grocery store or a restaurant, they will be able to quickly and easily identify a product of NB. The NFU-NB has had the opportunity to provide input on the use guidelines for the logo. Farmers and retailers can expect to see them available over the coming months. We encourage all farmers to participate.
“For the past year and half the NFU-NB has worked with government to bring this initiative forward in a way that we believe will benefit our farmers and the local economy. With the goal of increasing sales at local farmers markets the NFU-NB is pleased to be working on a Farmers Market Map under this strategy that will be online in the coming months and available at tourist information centres before next season,” commented NFU-NB president, Ted Wiggans. “We look forward to future collaboration with the government to increase local food security, local food consumption in NB, as well as the strength of the farming sector.”
The NFU-NB hopes that the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries continue to take an active leadership role in ensuring that the policies and procedures handled by other departments, including Alcool NB Liquor, remove as much red tape as possible so that it is simpler for farmers to get their products into the hands of NB consumers.
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The National Farmers Union in NB is one of two general farm organizations representing New Brunswick farm families in all agricultural commodities. NFU members believe that the problems facing farmers are common problems, and that farmers producing diverse products must work together to advance effective solutions. The NFU works toward the development of economic and social policies that will maintain the family farm as the primary food-producing unit.
Ted Wiggans, NFU-NB president, (506) 366-3410
Amanda Wildeman, NFU-NB executive director (506) 260-0087