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Cranberry producers hoping to sell crop in N.L.

Fabian Power of the Cranberry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador says cranberry farmers are forming a co-operative, in order to open a processing facility.

Unprocessed cranberries currently shipped off the island

The president of the Cranberry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador is hopeful that a secondary processing facility will be operation by the fall of 2016. (Eric Foss/CBC)

The president of the provincial cranberry farmers association is hoping that the berries will be available locally in the near future.

Farmers have seen incredible growth since the industry was formed in 2002, as part of a government alternative crops initiative.

According to Fabian Power of the Cranberry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, things continue to look promising.  

Power said the association has big plans for its members in the coming year. 

He told CBC Radio's Central Morning Show cranberry farmers are forming a co-operative in order to open a processing facility. 

"It's impossible to compete in the global market without one," he said. 

Power said unprocessed berries are currently shipped off the island, mainly to Europe. He said without some processing, the berries aren't available for sale here in the province.

"Basically we're getting a lot of interest here on this island for our local berries," he said.

"And it's a crime that we can't do anything with them right now. We're shipping them off this island. It's not what we want to be doing."  

Power is hoping a facility will be operational by next fall's harvest.

The cranberry industry got a boost of $7 million in 2014 — cost-shared between the Newfoundland and Labrador government and Ottawa.

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