submitted by Krista McKeeman, Executive Administrative Assistant/Project Officer, Rural Action Centre-CBDC East
The growing oyster industry on PEI contributes significantly to the Island economy. In recent years, the landed value, before processing, of mussels and oysters exceeded $28 million and $14 million respectively.
The recently formed PEI Oyster Processors Association approached the Montague Rural Action Centre to help facilitate a training program to help each plant develop advanced quality management skills.
Rural Action Centres are one-stop-service centres in Alberton, Montague and Wellington where established businesses, start-ups, and community groups can access supports to help launch and grow their business or community economic development projects.
The Montague Rural Action Centre, along with CBDC East, initiated the project in partnership with the Department of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture through the Canada-PEI Labour Market Agreements, ACOA, the PEI Department of Fisheries and Communities, and the Oyster Association.
Training was offered in Charlottetown and Summerside for more than 30 participants, representing 16 small oyster processing plants. When COVID-19 hit, the Montague Rural Action Team quickly adjusted the training to include aggressive COVID-19 management strategies that will provide stringent controls.
Innovative Quality Solutions is currently completing training sessions with the plants and will provide support as the harvest season begins.
Wayne Chiasson, Owner of W & R Fisheries and an executive on the Oyster Association, says the training is both timely and functional.
For more information, visit www.cbdc.ca or call 1-888-303-2232.