The federal government of Canada and the regional government of Quebec have provided financial assistance to Argousier des Appalaches, a group of eight producers in the Chaudière-Appalaches region, to help them develop new beverages using sea buckthorn berries.

Canada Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Jean-Claude Poissant said: “The berries of the sea buckthorn, a shrub that is well suited to Quebec’s northern climate, are gaining popularity with chefs and consumers. I am proud of our government’s support for this innovation project that will enable Argousier des Appalaches to expand its range of applications.

“I would also like to congratulate the eight producers and their families who have decided to combine their efforts to develop and grow this new production sector in their region.”

“The Government of Quebec is proud to encourage research and development efforts in agri-food while also stimulating investment in the Chaudière-Appalaches region.”

$30,971 worth of funding is being offered through the Quebec Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food’s Programme Innov’Action agroalimentaire, which is jointly funded under the Canada–Quebec Growing Forward 2 agreement.

The funds will be used to help the group to develop a sea buckthorn juice and a maple-flavoured sea buckthorn beverage, as well as to identify the best ways to use the residue from the berries.

The producers planted 16,000 trees in their orchards in 2013 and established a packing centre in Sainte-Lucie-de-Beauregard, Quebec, in 2016.

Quebec Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Minister Laurent Lessard said: “Innovation and research are drivers of competitiveness. In this open-market environment, our companies must remain productive and innovative.

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“However, research can be costly and risky, and that is why innovative companies must receive sufficient support to allow them to complete their projects successfully.

“The Government of Quebec is proud to encourage, through the Programme Innov’Action agroalimentaire, research and development efforts in agri-food while also stimulating investment in the Chaudière-Appalaches region.”