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Agriculture Experts Talk Export Market Development At Wolfville Breakfast

Horticulture Nova Scotia held its first annual Harvest End Breakfast, with three topical speakers on hand at Acadia University.

Dr. David MacKinnon, dean of research at Acadia University, told those on hand that events like the Harvest End Breakfast, which is anticipated to be an annual event, can aid in strategic research planning for rural and coastal Nova Scotia.

Australian native Dr. Simon Somogyi, who teaches agri-food value chain management in the Faculty of Agriculture at Dalhousie University, shared his experience.

Somogyi explained how value chain analysis can be a tool for fruit and vegetable export market development. He’s made a study of profitability being aligned to consumer needs when agricultural producers shipped to Singapore. Somogyi added that an efficient, 24-hour, rapid air delivery also made a significant difference.

Understanding the market, he said, could add between 20 to 30 per cent in terms of profit.

Shawn Ingraham, a senior industry development officer for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada,
offered an overview of the agriculture and agri-food sector regionally in 2015. Horticulture, he pointed out, is important to not only Kings County, but also Nova Scotia’s economy. Farm sizes are increasing, as is profitability, he said.

Acadia University professor Matt McSweeney, director of the Centre for the Sensory Research of Food, described the ‘food camps’ that have been developed to evaluate new products.

One is coming up this week at Acadia and another is planned for early March. One interesting area is how value might be added to so-called “waste food.”

Marlene Huntley,
executive director
of Horticulture Nova Scotia, called the breakfast part of her organization’s goal to promote all sectors of the industry to working together.