Blueberry plant gets $18.5M to double workforce
Jasper Wyman & Son’s blueberry operation in Morell will double its capacity
Breakdown of $18.5 million provincial funding:
- $16 million repayable loan
- $1.5 million tax credit
- $500,000 grant
- $500,000 labour rebates and skills training
On the heels of one of most bountiful blueberry harvests on P.E.I. in recent memory, Jasper Wyman & Son’s blueberry operation in Morell has announced it will be doubling its capacity and workforce, with help from the province.
The provincial government said the expansion will see Wyman's workforce grow from 25 full-time and 70 seasonal jobs to 50 full-time and 140 seasonal jobs.
The government is giving the business $18.5 million, with $16 million of that in the form of a repayable loan.
Wyman's wants to expand its plant, increasing production from eight million to 20 million pounds a year. The company says that would allow it to increase production in fields that aren't operating at full capacity.
Jasper Wyman & Son is a privately owned company based in Maine, where it has been operating since 1874.
It has operated a blueberry processing plant in Morell since 1998.
“They’ve had trouble the last number of years where they’ve had to export some of their blueberries to be processed in Maine. This is going to allow them to process all of the blueberries that they buy in Atlantic Canada right here in Prince Edward Island,” said Premier Robert Ghiz.
Ed Flanagan, president of Jasper Wyman & Son, said this is the largest investment in the company’s history.
“We have quite a bit of land that has quite a bit of [value] and so I think our bankers would tell you they feel Wyman’s is a very safe risk and so if they’re good with it, we’re good with it,” he said.
Ghiz said this is a good investment for the province.
“They’re happy with the workforce here, with the product that they’re receiving, as we know. We’re an agricultural hub and I think it’s just great news for us and great news for the Morell area and Prince Edward Island for that matter,” he said.