New Brunswick

New Brunswick apple growers bring in Ontario trees to boost industry

New Brunswick apple growers will plant Ontario trees on 40 new hectares a year for 10 years as they try to build the industry under a strategic plan announced Wednesday.

Under new strategic plan, growers will plant 40 new hectares a year

Apple Growers of New Brunswick have announced a strategic plan for the next 10 years to strengthen the apple industry and local economies. (Vanessa Blanch/CBC)

New Brunswick apple growers will plant Ontario trees on 40 new hectares a year for 10 years as they try to build the industry under a strategic plan announced Wednesday.

Andrew Lovell, chair of the Apple Growers of New Brunswick, said the trees, from a new nursery in Ontario, will eventually cover a total of 404 hectares, or almost 1,000 acres.

He said the strategic plan could create about 200 jobs and allow apple growers in New Brunswick to partner with new markets in the United States and Europe.

This will increase [farmer's] revenue and we'll do a better job at managing the farm,- Andrew Lovell , River View Orchards

"Farmers want to contribute to our economy and not be viewed as anything less than responsible business people," said Lovell, who is the owner and operator of River View Orchards on Keswick Ridge.

Talks about a new strategic plan started about a year and a half ago.

"This will increase [farmers' ] revenue and we'll do a better job at managing the farm," he said. "We are tied to this land and our local economies."

Lovell expects 20,000 trees to be planted in the Mactaquac and Keswick Ridge areas.

Trees will also be planted in Gagetown and the southeastern parts of the province, including the Memramcook area.

The Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries provided about $29,000 to the apple growers association.

Tanya Greer, a department spokesperson, said the government has identified agriculture as a key growth opportunity in the New Brunswick economic growth plan. 

"The department will have further dialogue with the association to determine what role we can play in helping them reach their goal of 1,000 new acres of trees," said Greer in an email to CBC News.

​Lovell said his group produces a popular product.

"People love apples," he said. "It will help New Brunswick."

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