Our wild blueberry adventure since 2012
Wild Blueberries From Canada
Polproduct and Millen Farms first came across in 2012 when Polproduct´s CEO Mouez visited Canada and met with Curtis. After a mutual understanding about the industry trends Mouez and Curtis decided on sharing a common path and created East Coast Wild Blueberries – a joint venture between Millen Farms and Polproduct.
Main customers for our Canadian wild blueberries are jam, juice, fruit preparation manufacturers across the world.
The blueberries are mostly sold as IQF uncalibrated class 1 in 30 lbs cartons. However it is also possible to calibrate the blueberries and pack in 10kg cartons, octobins or paper bags upon request.
Standard: Grade A uncalibrated
Other available qualities:
- Grade A small calibration 5-10 mm
- Grade A big calibration >10 mm
- Grade A custom calibration
- Grade B
- Grade C
- Aseptic/Frozen puree & pulp
Wild Canadian blueberries (vaccinium angustifolium) is a species native to eastern and central Canada and northeast USA. Although the berries are found wild in native Canadian forests, farmers transform the forests into fields by carefully removing large rocks and trees. Some fields have been developed from former woodland. As a result Canadian wild blueberries can be considered semi-cultivated and are best described as something between bilberry (vaccinium myrtillus) and cultivated blueberries (vaccinium corymbosum).
East Coast Wild Blueberries harvests berries from 1000+ acres of their privately owned fields, but also cooperates with various dealers. A dealer is a company that manages fields of multiple farmers – this allows to guarantee a quality standard accross different farmers. One of our main dealers is Joe Slack – a long term partner of the Millen Family – a special guy who shares the values of the Millen Farms and knows everything there is to know about wild blueberries.
While European wild blueberries are harvested by hand raking, Canadian wild blueberries are mainly harvested by specially designed wild blueberry harvesters that allow for a significant cost reduction. The lower labour costs during harvesting result in a more competitive and stable price compared to European wild blueberries. Some picturesque areas, which are inaccessible to big harvesters are still raked using a hand-rake.
We are proud to say that our state of the art farming model and production process results in near 0%-waste – the berries that are sorted out end up being used as juice stock or wild blueberry puree.
Factory in Sackville, Nova Scotia acts as a primary processing facility where berries are received, washed and processed into different grades and stored at -22C before being loaded into a container and delivered to customers.
Depending on the season we also keep some stock of blueberries in our storage in Netherlands in order to be able to meet urgent customer needs. For example, there have been numerous occasions where a customer quickly needs a small volume, as production is running short. In this case we are sometimes ready to deliver the order within days across Europe.
The Latin name of Canadian wild blueberry is vaccinium angustifolium. Although the berries are found wild in native Canadian forests, farmers transform the forests into fields by carefully removing large rocks and trees. The harvest is done mechanically and as a result, Canadian wild blueberries have become a great alternative for the European bilberry (vaccinium myrtillus) by offering significant cost savings and for cultivated blueberries (vaccinium corymbosum) by offering a richer taste experience.
THIS IS CURTIS.
Curtis is a farmer in Nova Scotia and a father to four sons: Eric, Jonathan, Nathan and Brandon. Him and his wife Ann started the Millen Farms nearly 40 years ago.
The operation, which involves the whole family, includes 150+ acres in strawberry and 600+ acres of wild native low bush blueberry.
THIS IS MOUEZ.
Mouez is a sales guy with his roots in France and Tunisia. He is the kind of guy French people would describe as “Gourmant”. His passion for food led him to become a food industry professional nearly 20 years ago.
He is also an entrepreneur & a visionary man. After a successful sales manager career in Polproduct he initiated a management buyout once his boss wanted to retire. Now he calls the shots.
ONE DAY MOUEZ VISITED CANADA AND MET WITH CURTIS.
At that time Millen Farms were looking to challenge themselves in blueberry processing and were opened to new venture possibilities. The synergy between these two entrepreneurs sharing the same vision was immediate, so they decided – Why not try together?
That was the start of a common path and creation of East Coast Wild Blueberries – a joint venture between Millen Farms and Polproduct that challenges the big sharks with a new Canadian-European model.
Hofdreef 32 4881 DR Zundert, The Netherlands