Executive Council
Fisheries and Land Resources
October 23, 2017

Agriculture Industry and Provincial Government Fostering Fertile Futures in Newfoundland and Labrador

The Provincial Government, Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture, and Food First NL jointly launched 43 actions today to double the province’s food self-sufficiency, and double the number of people directly employed in the provincial agriculture sector. The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, was joined by representatives of both organizations; Ministers of the Cabinet Committee on Jobs; as well as student, community, academic, and business leaders to announce these actions at the new Centre for Agriculture and Forestry Development in Wooddale.

This new facility is the result of a redevelopment of the former Wooddale Tree Nursery. Activity at the facility now includes not only the production of tree seedlings, but also fruit and vegetable crop development, bee keeping, and other research activities that advance and diversify the agriculture sector. In addition to developing this facility, further actions that were launched today to support growth within the agriculture industry included:

  • Addressing the human resource needs of the industry with tailored labour market supports, immigration attraction, and efforts to help attract people to opportunities in agriculture;
  • Supporting the industry’s ability to leverage its global competitive advantages that result from:
    • having a climate that allows less use of pesticides than other jurisdictions;
    • having one of the last remaining healthy bee populations in the world;
    • having superior lamb product as a result of being raised near saltwater environments; and
    • having a number of highly popular and lucrative berries growing here, including partridgeberries, cranberries and blueberries;
  • Advancing education and innovation opportunities via institutions that include Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus, the College of the North Atlantic and Innovate NL;
  • Increasing demand for fresh produce by creating new opportunities for local growers to supply health facilities;
  • Fostering increased agricultural activity in Labrador; and
  • Promoting the growth of secondary processing companies in Newfoundland and Labrador.

All actions included in the new sector work plan released today will be fully operationalized within 24 months. A copy of the sector work plan and other materials presented at the agriculture industry summit can be found online at: www.gov.nl.ca/agriculturesummit.

As part of The Way Forward vision, the Provincial Government is 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. The next industry summit will be held with the technology industry in early 2018.

“This partnership between the Provincial Government, industry players, and Food First NL has resulted in more than 40 actions that will double our province’s food self-sufficiency, and double the number of people directly employed in agriculture. Together, we are advancing a shared vision of a province where Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are healthier for having greater access to high quality foods, and more prosperous as a result of more employment options that can support bright futures.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“Our government has long recognized that there was untapped potential in the provincial agriculture sector, and we are committed to strong partnerships with industry players to realize that potential, and make our province healthier and more prosperous in the process. I look forward to driving the actions we launched today with the industry, Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture and Food First NL, and to seeing residents benefit from those actions.”
Honourable Gerry Byrne
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources

“The federation and its members throughout the province are pleased to partner with government to advance an ambitious and comprehensive plan that will simultaneously promote the health of residents, and the economic strength of our province. Agriculture has always had tremendous potential to support the economic diversification that our province needs so much, and it is exciting to finally begin pursuing that potential.”
Merv Wiseman
President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture

“Greater food production in this province will not only reduce our reliance on outside food sources, but also create a vibrant local food economy. Food First NL applauds these actions, which will build a stronger food system, and improve access to healthy food for people in communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Gioia Montevecchi
Project Manager of Food First NL

- 30 -

Learn More
Agriculture Summit Web Page - www.gov.nl.ca/agriculturesummit

The Way Forward - On Agriculture - www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwRVhkWboC8&feature=youtu.beexternal link icon

Follow us on Twitter: @GovNL external link icon and @FLR_GovNL external link icon

Media contacts
Michelle Cannizzaro Office of the Premier

John Tompkins
Fisheries and Land Resources
709-729-3733, 728-7762

Merv Wiseman
Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture

Gioia Montevecchi
Food First NL

2017 10 23                              11:55 a.m.