The blueberry industry in New Brunswick took another step forward in New Brunswick this week with the grand opening of the Acadian Wild Blueberry Co. new state-of-the-art processing plant. 

The company, located in Saint-Isidore and Bois-Gagnon, New Brunswick, is a division of Oxford Frozen Foods of Nova Scotia, the world’s largest grower and processor of wild blueberries.

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New Brunswick Economic Development Minister Francine Landry, who is also minister responsible for Opportunities NB, says the Acadian Wild Blueberry Co. plant is the most modern blueberry processing facility in the world. Its two freezing tunnels can process up to 1.5 million pounds of fresh blueberries per day during the harvest season and its cold storage holds 45 million pounds of product.

The facility in Gloucester County uses technology to be energy efficient and environmentally friendly. It uses CO2 instead of ammonia for its freezing capacity as well as high energy efficiency features like LED lighting and efficiency control systems.

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The plant is opening a year ahead of schedule to meet the demand for increased processing capacity from local blueberry growers. The company is employing 70 full-time workers and more than 200 seasonal workers, with more jobs expected to be created as more land comes into production over the next several years.

The provincial government contributed a $37.5 million interest-bearing repayable loan towards the construction of the processing plant.

Oxford Frozen Foods

Officials with Oxford say they've contributed over 70-million towards grower, planning, construction and operations during the permitting and construction phase.

Oxford is also a major employer in Maine, in Washington County. The company owns the Maine Wild Blueberry Company of Machias and Cherryfield Foods, Inc in Cherryfield.