Atlantic Potato Distributors is adding an automated sorting and bagging line to its potato-packing facility thanks to investments from the federal and provincial governments.
“Investing in the modernization of the facility at Atlantic Potato Distributors will help accelerate the growth of the company and create jobs for New Brunswickers,” said Premier Brian Gallant in an announcement at the facility today. “We are also pleased to be able to support a family-owned business that has been part of the community for over two decades.”
The federal government is providing a repayable contribution of $500,000 through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Business Development Program. The provincial government is contributing $320,000 through Opportunities NB and the Regional Development Corporation.
“I am pleased that ACOA’s support for this project will help Atlantic Potato Distributors get the equipment it needs to continue to grow and meet increasing demand for its products,” said Tobique-Mactaquac MP T. J. Harvey. “The benefits of this project will be felt throughout the industry in this region as the company will require a greater supply of potatoes from local producers as it increases productivity.”
Harvey attended for Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, who is also minister responsible for the ACOA.
The new equipment will enable the company to expand its potato grading and packing capacities to meet growing demand for special orders and respond to them more quickly. The project also includes equipment and conveyors to automate and enhance the efficiency of potato receiving and handling.
“On behalf of the Hanscome family and the management of Atlantic Potato, I thank ACOA, Opportunities NB, the Regional Development Corporation and the Business Development Bank of Canada for providing us the opportunity to expand our production abilities to secure more business, create additional jobs, and continue to partner with local businesses such as GOW, Marty’s Electric and EP Sénéchal’s,” said Ralph Hanscome, president of Atlantic Potato Distributors. “This would not be possible without our dedicated staff and growers who, along with our superior food safety program, have helped us become one of the top in the industry, making us the ideal business partnership North America-wide.”
Founded in 1993 by Hanscome and his wife, Nancy Hanscome, Atlantic Potato Distributors is a family-owned and operated business that farms over 1,100 acres in Victoria County and employs more than 70 people. The company washes, grades and packs potatoes resulting in more than 50 private label products, using potatoes from more than 35 local and American producers. It is the first Canadian company to be certified Canadian Partners in Quality (CPIQ) for a packing shed, enabling the company to export to the United States without having to go through inspections by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Opportunities NB is a Crown corporation that seeks to attract and support opportunities to grow the economy and create jobs. It provides support services for businesses across the province.