Blueberry plant looks to double production

Wyman's plans to more than double production at its blueberry plant in Morell, P.E.I.

Wyman's plans to more than double production at its blueberry plant in Morell, P.E.I.

In an environmental assessment statement filed with the province, the company says it needs more capacity to process all the berries it produces itself and buys from other growers.

The Wyman's plant expansion will create a bigger market for blueberry growers. (CBC)

Wyman's wants to expand its plant, and increase 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.

Blueberry Growers Association chair Edwin McKie said the timing for the expansion is good.

"A lot of the land that was developed 10 to 15 years ago is just starting to really come on stream," said McKie.

"If they pick up an extra 500 pounds an acre by getting it at its best it is going to be money in their pocket."

McKie said the expansion will not only grow the market for farmers, but create work for companies making the machinery, and for contractors putting up the building, and create more employment at the plant in the long term.

Construction is supposed to begin this month, pending government approval, with the new plant ready by next July. The P.E.I. Department of Environment is accepting public input on the proposal.

When contacted by CBC News, Wyman's said it would make a formal announcement at a later date.