Fund­ing for fish farm

Valley Journal Advertiser - - SPORTS - BY CA­ROLE MOR­RIS-UNDERHILL WWW.HANTSJOURNAL.CA Cmor­ris-underhill@hantsjournal.ca

The fed­eral govern­ment is in­vest­ing in the ex­pan­sion of a cut­ting-edge At­lantic salmon land-based fish farm in Hants County.

Kings-Hants MP Scott Bri­son vis­ited Sus­tain­able Fish Farm­ing Ltd. in Cen­tre Burling­ton on April 21 to an­nounce a $1 mil­lion re­payable loan.

“Pro­duc­ing pre­mium qual­ity, drug-free fish sus­tain­ably on land here in Burling­ton, Hants County, is some­thing we should be tremen­dously proud of,” said Bri­son, who made the fund­ing an­nounce­ment on be­half of the At­lantic Canada Op­por­tu­ni­ties Agency’s Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Fund.

Bri­son said in­vest­ing in the com­pany’s fu­ture not only bodes well for the plant, but Hants County, the prov­ince, and be­yond.

“Food and sus­tain­able food pro­duc­tion is an area where Canada has huge op­por­tu­ni­ties and Nova Sco­tia is well-po­si­tioned to play a ma­jor role in that. From oceans to agri­cul­ture and sus­tain­able aqua­cul­ture — we have it all here,” said Bri­son.

“The kinds of in­vest­ments that we want to make are the ones that build on th­ese nat­u­ral ad­van­tages and take them to a dif­fer­ent level.”

Kirk Haver­croft, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Sus­tain­able Fish Farm­ing Ltd., said the $9 mil­lion ex­pan­sion will in­crease their pro­duc­tion to 500 met­ric tonnes, up from 300 met­ric tonnes.

It will also in­crease the labour force to 11 full-time em­ploy­ees, up from seven. Haver­croft said that doesn’t take into ac­count the other eco­nomic spinoffs due to con­struc­tion at the site, additional pro­cess­ing and trans­port­ing of the prod­uct.

“We al­ways were all-year­round, it’s just now we’ll have more prod­uct or the ca­pa­bil­ity of more prod­uct,” ex­plained Haver­croft, not­ing the com­pany will be able to bet­ter stag­ger when fish will be avail­able for mar­ket.

About 40,000 tonnes of land­grown salt­wa­ter salmon is con­sumed an­nu­ally in North America. It’s es­ti­mated that 360,000 met­ric tonnes was con­sumed world­wide in 2016.

Haver­croft says ex­perts be­lieve that num­ber is lower than what the de­mand ac­tu­ally is due to a lack of sup­ply.

“There were prob­lems in Chile pro­duc­ing salmon (in 2016). There were other prob­lems in the Euro­pean coun­tries that pro­duce it – so Nor­way and Den­mark,” said Haver­croft.

“The only way of know­ing what the to­tal con­sump­tion is is when we get a year when there is none of those prob­lems, and that’ll give us an op­por­tu­nity to see what the to­tal de­mand re­ally is.”

Haver­croft said the ex­pan­sion will help to make the com­pany’s line of Sus­tain­able Blue prod­ucts more com­pet­i­tive in the lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional mar­kets.

Bri­son, who toured the ex­ist­ing fa­cil­ity fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment, praised the com­pany for be­ing in­no­va­tive and in­vest­ing in the re­gion.

“Jeremy Lee (pres­i­dent) and Kirk Haver­croft — both im­mi­grants — chose Nova Sco­tia to build their dream of sus­tain­able aqua­cul­ture here,” said Bri­son. “I think it checks off all the boxes in terms of our govern­ment’s At­lantic growth strat­egy — in­no­va­tion, im­mi­gra­tion, in­vest­ment and trade, and clean growth — so this is ex­actly the kind of in­vest­ment we want to do more of.”

Bri­son said he sees an ex­cit­ing fu­ture for the com­pany, and the sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties.

“We’re see­ing the syn­er­gies de­velop be­tween our lo­cal world­class wine in­dus­try, mi­cro­brew­ery, cut­ting edge tech­nol­ogy around sus­tain­able seafood and fish and agri­cul­ture. It’s all hap­pen­ing here.”

CA­ROLE MOR­RIS-UNDERHILL

Kings Hants MP Scott Bri­son and Kirk Haver­croft, the CEO of Sus­tain­able Fish Farm­ing Ltd. in Cen­tre Burling­ton, dis­cuss the op­er­a­tion while tours of the site were con­ducted April 21.

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