The National Farmers Union in New Brunswick appreciates the government’s commitment to growing the wild blueberry sector. NB is well positioned for this role we have land, the climate and the people to become the global leader in wild blueberry production and exports. Further cooperation between government departments, farmers and processors will be essential in this success.
The recent Crown Land allocation through a request for proposals was the most transparent, fair and timely process yet. The NFU-NB is glad to hear that more land will be made available through a similar process next fall, bringing the government closer to their target in the 2013-18 Wild Blueberry Sector Strategy of making 5600 acres of Crown Land available to producers.
A group of farmers in Northeast NB has put forth an application to create a Regional Wild Blueberry Marketing board under the Natural Products Act. Over half of the province’s wild blueberry producers reside in the Northeast of the province and face unique access to market challenges due to their geographic location. Farmers consistently make less per pound of fresh berries than their counterparts in Quebec.
A resolution in favour of a Regional Marketing board for wild blueberry production was passed by the general membership at the NFU-NB’s annual general meeting last month in Shediac. Orderly marketing is a cornerstone of NFU policy and we support this producer-led initiative that will allow farmers obtain a fair share of the market price through single desk selling, equality of delivery opportunity between producers, pooling of returns and costs among producers, and the elimination of manipulation, speculation and waste.
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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) 344-3610
Amanda Wildeman, Executive director (506) 260-0087