Mod­ern­iza­tion to cut down on prep times

Ber­wick’s Sawler Gar­dens se­cures $250K fed­eral loan for new equip­ment

Valley Journal Advertiser - - NEWS -

A Kings County farm and food pro­cess­ing busi­ness is get­ting a size­able boost from the fed­eral govern­ment.

Sawler Gar­dens Lim­ited, es­tab­lished in 1959, re­cently re­ceived $250,000 in re­payable as­sis­tance from the At­lantic Canada Op­por­tu­ni­ties Agency (ACOA) for the pur­chase of new pro­cess­ing and sort­ing equip­ment de­signed to in­crease out­put while re­duc­ing food pro­cess­ing times.

“Sawler Gar­dens will now be able to pur­chase a new op­tic sorter used to re­move de­fec­tive pro­duce. This new pro­cess­ing equip­ment will have more ac­cu­rate shape recog­ni­tion and will be able to iden­tify and re­move un­ac­cept­able prod­ucts from the line,” an ACOA press re­lease said.

“Em­ploy­ees that had been man­u­ally sort­ing veg­eta­bles will now have the op­por­tu­nity to op­er­ate this new equip­ment, check qual­ity as­sur­ance, and la­bel, box and ship prod­ucts.”

The in­tro­duc­tion of the new equip­ment will al­low em­ploy­ees to de­vote more at­ten­tion to tech­ni­cal work, the state­ment from ACOA said.

The loan is be­ing dis­trib­uted through ACOA’s Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Pro­gram as part of a com­mit­ment out­lined in the At­lantic Growth Strat­egy.

West Nova MP Colin Fraser re­cently vis­ited Sawler Gar­dens for a tour of the Ber­wick-based en­ter­prise that farms 400 acres of land and pro­cesses about 100 acres of crop for a va­ri­ety of lo­cal farm­ers.

“Up­graded man­u­fac­tur­ing and pro­cess­ing equip­ment will greatly im­prove Sawler Gar­dens’ abil­ity to en­sure top-notch qual­ity prod­ucts reach re­tail­ers in a timely man­ner,” said Fraser in a me­dia re­lease an­nounc­ing the fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance from ACOA.

The equip­ment up­grades will make the An­napo­lis Val­ley-based busi­ness more com­pet­i­tive on a global scale, said Sawler Gar­dens co-owner Mark Sawler in a state­ment.

“The up­dated grad­ing line with the new op­tic sorter used in the pro­duc­tion of baby mini car­rots and turnip sticks will greatly as­sist with re­li­a­bil­ity and im­proved per­for­mance,” he said.

“This line up­grade will al­low us to con­tinue to be com­pet­i­tive against the im­ported prod­ucts from the U.S. and con­tinue to grow the num­ber of brands that we sup­ply, in­clud­ing pri­vate la­bels such as Compliments and Farm­ers Mar­ket. We are grate­ful for the sup­port on this project and the op­por­tu­nity to strengthen our busi­ness.”

Sawler Gar­dens grows car­rots, onions, beets, parsnips and turnips for gro­cery stores across At­lantic Canada. The com­pany em­ploys 15 full-time work­ers and about 65 sea­sonal em­ploy­ees.

SUB­MIT­TED

Sawler Gar­dens Lim­ited in Ber­wick re­cently re­ceived re­payable fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance from the fed­eral govern­ment to help mod­ern­ize the pro­cess­ing op­er­a­tions.

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