Supporting Blueberry Industry in Northern Ontario


July 26, 2011

Six communities on the Northeast shore of Lake Superior will benefit from the development of a strategic business plan that will outline new opportunities for blueberry production and processing in Northern Ontario.

With support from Ontario's Rural Economic Development Program, Northeast Superior Forest Community Corporation is leading the initiative, which will:

  • engage the communities in developing a blueberry production and processing industry
  • identify the best areas for blueberry crops
  • provide a business model and environmental screening for cropping sites
  • strengthen and diversify the local economy

The plan will focus on the communities of Dubreuilville, Chapleau, Wawa, Manitouwadge, White River and Hornepayne.

A strong agri-food industry is part of the McGuinty government's plan to create jobs and opportunities that will grow the province's economy.


"The McGuinty government is proud to support an initiative which will create more demand for local food, and provide new opportunities for blueberry growers and processors in Northern Ontario. By supporting local food production, we're increasing demand for Ontario food products, creating jobs and building a strong economy."
- Carol Mitchell, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

"This project will facilitate economic prosperity and stability, create jobs and promote partnership to benefit our entire region. Once completed, this will result in the first commercially operated wild blueberry harvesting region in Ontario, which is something community members can be proud of."
- Mike Brown, MPP for Algoma-Manitoulin

"The Northeast Superior Forest Community and all of our partners are very excited about the potential surrounding the concept of developing a regional Wild Blueberry network and the creation of a brand new agri-foods industry within our region. Our organization is committed to finding new and innovative ways of maximizing our forest resources and complimenting the existing forest sector. Blueberries and other Non-Timber Forest Products are abundant in our region, and we hope that the continued development of these types of projects will help rebuild the Northeast Superior Region."
- John MacEachern, Mayor of Manitouwadge


  • Ontario has invested more than $167 million in 412 projects through the Rural Economic Development Program and generated more than $1.2 billion in new economic activity.
  • Ontario gained more than 40,000 jobs in June, more than double the number of jobs created in the United States.
  • The unemployment rate declined to 7.7 per cent. Ontario employment is now above its 2008 pre-recession peak.
  • Since the HST was introduced last year, 114,000 jobs have been created in Ontario, the majority of them full-time positions.
  • In 2010, Ontario was named a top destination for foreign direct investment in North America, second only to California. The province attracted a total of 127 foreign direct investment projects that created more than 11,200 jobs.


Want to grow your food business? Ontario can help.

For more information:

Melissa Zanette, Minister's Office, 416-326-3071
Susan Murray, Communications Branch, 519-826-3145

Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 22 July 2011
Last Reviewed: 22 July 2011