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Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs
February 15, 2010

Minister Provides Update on Air Foodlift Subsidy

The Honourable John Hickey, Minister of Labrador Affairs, today provided an update on the delivery of the Air Foodlift Subsidy (AFS) for the South Coast and Straits of Labrador. Minister Hickey noted that retailers will experience reduced periods of activity in the AFS program this season due to the addition of the MV Sir Robert Bond run between Corner Brook and Blanc Sablon, and the recent opening of Phase lll of the Trans Labrador Highway.

"Thanks to unprecedented investments in transportation infrastructure and services, many retailers on the South Coast and Straits are benefiting from a vastly improved transportation system and their reliance on the AFS program to offset the cost of nutritious perishable items during these winter months is greatly lessened," said Minister Hickey. "However, it is important to stress that assistance through the AFS program will be available when it is needed. If the marine service is interrupted due to adverse ice conditions or inclement weather, the AFS program will be made available to participating retailers."

The AFS program is an important subsidy that assists retailers to provide consumers with nutritious, perishable foods at a reasonable cost. This program is geared towards rural coastal communities in Labrador where regular road and marine transportation is non-existent in winter months.

Under the AFS program, a subsidy is paid to retail stores to offset the high cost of flying perishable foods into these communities. Retailers are required to pass these savings on to the consumer on the cost of goods sold.

A list of eligible food items can be found at: 

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Media contact:
John Tompkins
Director of Communications
Department of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs
709-729-1674, 728-7762 

2010 02 15                                                   10:25 a.m.

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