Family Farm Staying on Top of Organic Demand
The Dykerman family in Brookfield, Prince Edward Island, is passionate about farming, high service standards and quality produce.For more than three decades, the family operation has been growing and processing conventional vegetables for sale to wholesale markets in Atlantic Canada. As these wholesalers started to request more and more organic vegetables, Matthew Dykerman saw an opportunity to become a bigger player in that market.
Matthew started to farm organically in 2009 under the business name Red Soil Organics Inc. (RSO). Starting out small, RSO has grown into the largest organic vegetable farm in Atlantic Canada, growing over 50 acres of mixed vegetables including carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and rutabaga.
The Honourable Wayne Easter, Member of Parliament for Malpeque, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), and on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, today joined the Honourable Alan McIsaac, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, to announce government support for RSO to purchase innovative sorting and packaging equipment to increase operational efficiencies. ACOA, through its Business Development Program, is providing a repayable contribution of $500,000 to the company for the new equipment. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the PEI Department of Agriculture and Fisheries are also providing $75,000 through the Canada-PEI Growing Forward 2 Agreement to assist Red Soil Organics with new technology and environmental sustainability, including an optical carrot sorter, a grader and improvements to waste water management.
“Farmers, by nature, are innovators who are always looking for ways to improve their operations. The Government of Canada understands that innovation is about new ideas and approaches to existing challenges. Red Soil Organics is a fine example of the spirit of creativity, entrepreneurship and collaboration that continues to strengthen our economy and improve the lives of Canadians.”
- The Honourable Wayne Easter, Member of Parliament for Malpeque
“The Government of Prince Edward Island is proud to have programs in place that allow local entrepreneurs to achieve their business goals. Today’s announced financial contribution will support Red Soil Organics in their innovative approach to company growth. Best of luck to the Dykerman’s in their new endeavour.”
- The Honourable Alan McIsaac, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries
“Consumers are becoming more and more conscientious about how their food is grown. Increasingly, they are choosing to purchase organic produce out of concern for the environment and their health. The investments from the federal and provincial governments allows us to modernize our cold storage and carrot packaging line, which will help us to meet that growing demand."
- Matthew Dykerman, Co-Owner, Red Soil Organics Inc.
Senior Communications Officer