Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
Fisheries and Land Resources
November 15, 2017

Provincial Government Continues to Support Food Sustainability

The Provincial Government, through InnovateNL, has invested approximately $140,000 to support a research and development project at Bickerstaffe Farms and Nurseries to identify ways to successfully grow small fruits, canes and green crops year-round.

This investment will allow Bickerstaffe Farms and Nurseries to test and develop propagation methods to extend their growing season. As part of this assessment, the company will install custom designed high tunnels, or hoop houses, to help provide shelter from harsh weather conditions that can have an impact on plants. These unheated greenhouses will provide extra durability due to their shorter framing span, heavier grade of steel and ability to anchor into the ground.

Bickerstaffe Farms and Nurseries has been in the greenhouse industry and agriculture production since 1994, and employs an average of 23 individuals on a seasonal basis.

As part of The Way Forward, a target has been set to double the food self-sufficiency of the province. Through the Cabinet Committee on Jobs, the Provincial Government is also directly engaging the aquaculture, agriculture, and technology sectors to address industry needs in ways that result in new employment and economic activity throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

“By reducing our reliance on outside food sources, we will help create a vibrant local food economy and provide a high quality product year round. This unique approach to extend the growing season will assist with small fruit production, and further increase the technical capacity of the province. This builds on the priorities of our Business Innovation Agenda and our government’s goal of creating economic opportunities in all regions of our province.”
Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore
Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation

“Supporting the innovative planning and initiative being demonstrated by Bickerstaffe Farms and Nurseries is part of our government’s approach to helping the provincial agriculture industry meet its full potential. Our government continues to work with our agribusinesses to increase economic activity, and improve our province’s food self-sufficiency, both of which are important commitments within The Way Forward vision.”
Honourable Gerry Byrne
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources

“The investment from InnovateNL will assist Bickerstaffe in furthering the company’s efforts in developing year round small fruit production capabilities within the province. Through this project and investment, Bickerstaffe is aiming to be commercial production of small fruit by the end of 2018 into early 2019.”
Ian McDonald
Bickerstaffe Farms and Nurseries

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Media contacts
Eric Humber
Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
709-729-4819, 725-9655

Connie Boland
Fisheries and Land Resources
709-637-2923, 640-6409

Ian McDonald
Bickerstaffe Farms and Nurseries

2017 11 15                              11:05 a.m.