Mr. Speaker, we need green jobs and sustainable business opportunities in New Brunswick, and we need a healthier population.
Growing our local food economy will immediately create jobs and opportunities for new businesses and for New Brunswick farmers in every corner of our province, as more of our food dollars stay in the New Brunswick to support our people. By redirecting ten dollars a week from each household currently being spent on imported foods to New Brunswick-grown foods, we could see over $30M in increased revenues within the province each year. And that would increase exponentially with the increased production and consumption of foods and beverages processed in New Brunswick with local ingredients.
Mr. Speaker, increased access to nutritious, local, and increasingly organic food will contribute to a healthier population and help reduce the $2.5 billion annual cost for healthcare in our province. Building a provincial food economy based on increased production and processing of local food and beverages will create good green jobs, strengthen local economies around the province, increase our economic self-reliance, contribute to a healthier population, and reduce our carbon emissions. Just like growing the energy efficiency service sector, Mr. Speaker, growing our local food economy is good for our economy, good for society and good for the environment. Thank you Mr. Speaker.
David Coon, MLA, Fredericton South,
Leader of the Green Party
Member’s Statement – February 11, 2015