Martin’s Fruit Farm gets Funding for New Plant
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
Martin’s Family Fruit Farm will produce apple “chips” thanks to a $3 million dollar loan from the Canadian federal government to help build a new plant in Elmira, Ont. Once the plant begins to make a profit the loan will be repaid says Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. The loan is made possible through the government’s Agricultural Innovation Program.
“This project is a great example of what we’re trying to achieve,” says Ritz. “It’s a product sure to be popular with today’s health conscious consumer” says Ritz.
Not only will the loan add value to the Martin’s family business by giving them an opportunity to diversify and access to new markets, but it will also create 30 full-time jobs. The Martin’s run a 750 acre operation and their facility supports over 40 other Ontario apple growers in the region.
This week the workers broke ground for the 17, 000 square foot facility projected to be completed before December of this year and Kevin Martin couldn’t be more pleased with the commitment made by the government “it’s a market that needs to be created,” he says. “We’re going to be expending some serious energy over the next several months in branding and marketing.
The announcement comes as the Martin’s along with many other apple producers were left with only 15 to 20 per cent of their crop that survived the frost.