ST. JOHN'S, NL, Dec. 9, 2022 /CNW/ - Newfoundland and Labrador's poultry sector is the second largest agricultural contributor in the province. To support its growth, the Member of Parliament for St. John's East, Joanne Thompson, announced a federal investment of up to $8 million for Country Ribbon to adopt advanced equipment that will increase productivity, while reducing its environmental footprint.
Today's announcement was made on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (AAFC), the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, and the Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor.
AAFC is providing up to $5 million and ACOA is providing up to $3 million. These investments will help Country Ribbon purchase and install an air chilling system to replace its current water chilling system. Air chilling comes with a range of benefits such as chicken products that contain less water and more flavour, decreased risk of contamination and reduced water use in the chilling process.
As Newfoundland and Labrador's largest chicken producer and only processor, Country Ribbon is a pillar of the province's agricultural community—supporting local jobs, food supply and economic activity. This investment helps position Newfoundland and Labrador's poultry sector for continued success and supports the resiliency of the local food system.
"Supply-managed sectors contribute to the social and economic sustainability of rural communities, as well as our food security. Investing in the modernization of Country Ribbon's cooling system allows them to increase the quality of their products and the quantity they can process."
- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
"Local businesses are vital to our communities. They create jobs and support a strong economy here in this region. ACOA's investment in new technology at Country Ribbon will help the company increase productivity, improve product quality to meet market demand and support growth well into the future."
- The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA
"This Government of Canada investment will help Newfoundland and Labrador's only chicken processor future-proof through the adoption of innovative equipment to boost productivity. Country Ribbon's project will strengthen our food security and spur economic development here in St. John's and across the entire province."
- Joanne Thompson, Member of Parliament for St. John's East
"As a result of today's announcements, Country Ribbon is able to begin major investments in its operations. We will immediately begin a $20-million investment over the next year, including an air chill system that will allow more local chicken to be delivered to more major retailers in Newfoundland and Labrador. This will provide a product that is preferable to customers and will replace chicken that is currently imported from the mainland. We thank the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Government of Canada for their commitment to our local poultry industry, as this funding will help ensure the future livelihoods of local farms and the 300 employees of Country Ribbon."
- Ian MacKinnon, President, Country Ribbon Inc.
Newfoundland and Labrador's poultry sector employs over 500 people and contributes $80 million to the province's gross domestic product (GDP).
Established in 2000, Country Ribbon is Newfoundland and Labrador's only fully integrated chicken producer and processor. It specializes in manufacturing fresh and frozen chicken products, including chicken breasts, thighs, legs and wings.
AAFC's funding is provided through the new Supply Management Processing Investment Fund, which helps processors of supply-managed commodities adapt to market changes resulting from the implementation of international trade deals. The Government of Canada has committed up to $4.8 billion in total to compensate producers and processors in the supply-managed sectors who have lost market share under CETA, CPTPP and CUSMA.
ACOA's repayable funding is provided through the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program, which supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation.
Country Ribbon is also receiving an $800,000 investment under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which is funded under the Partnership's Agriculture Processing and Value-Added Program, delivered by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a $3-billion five-year (2018-2023), investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to innovate, strengthen and grow Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector. This includes a $2-billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs designed and delivered by provinces and territories.
SOURCE Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
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