Canada's wild blueberry industry will increase its international competitiveness following a federal investment for the Canadian division of the Wild Blueberry Association of North America (WBANA Canada) announced Friday to develop and enhance international markets for wild blueberries.
Canada is the world's largest producer and exporter of wild blueberries, and this investment of $700,000 will further strengthen the place of Canadian producers in the world market.
In 2011, exports were valued at $199 million, making wild blueberries Canada's number-one fruit export. In rural communities in Quebec and Atlantic Canada, wild blueberries contribute significantly to the agricultural industry, representing $86 million in farm-gate value in 2011.
P.E.I. has more than 20,000 acres of wild blueberries under cultivation.
This Growing Forward investment, made through theAgriMarketing Program, reinforces why federal, provincial, and territorial governments recently identified market development as a priority under Growing Forward 2. The new five-year (2013-2018) agreement includes investments in strategic initiatives of over $3 billion for innovation, competitiveness, and market development plus generous multi-year funding for risk management programs.