Innovative Fishery Products Inc. (IFP) located in St. Bernard, Digby County Nova Scotia has been in business since 1987 and is predominately a clam harvester, processor and exporter. It also participates in scallop fishery and other seafood imports and exports.
The business is owned and operated by Marc Blinn, brothers Scott and Doug Bertram, and Alan McGuire.
Facilities include a Processing Area, Q&A Lab, Depuration systems, a Shellfish Hatchery and Aquaculture Lease Areas.
IFP harvests Softshell Clams, Bar Clams and Little Neck Clams or Quahogs from aquaculture lease areas totalling 8000 acres licensed to IFP by the Province of Nova Scotia.
Softshell clams are harvested throughout the Province while Quahog are harvested on the beaches of St. Marys Bay in Digby County.
IFP is a significant, long-term and stable contributor to the economy of this rural region of Nova Scotia. In peak season the company employs more than 65 people at its processing facilities and approximately 135 clam harvesters and has annual revenues of in excess $7 million.
IFP sells about 5% of their product locally with the bulk of their product going to New England and Upper State New York. The New England area is supplied with mostly softshell clams and the New York area imports quahogs.
The company has two brands, IFP being the primary one, and the Shamrock Brand in New England. The company also does private labelling for companies wishing to brand their own product.
The company lives up to its name starting with the Depuration Facilities they designed and have operated since 1996.
Depuration is the process used to clean bacteria out of clams. A large tank system creates ultrapurified water which enables the clams to cleanse themselves and be harvested for consumption.
Without this process being carried out by IFP, a large portion of the shellfish growing area would not be available to the harvesters and would force an unsustainable harvesting situation on the remaining shellfish areas.
In 2011, IFP built a Shellfish Hatchery capable of growing seed clams to replenish beaches. Algae is grown to feed the tiny clams in a controlled environment until they reach the appropriate size to be distributed on the beaches to insure a long-term sustainable industry.
In 2015, IFP established a Logistics Division for the movement of frozen product on the eastern seaboard including from the USA and have been experiencing an inability to store product in Atlantic Canada.
In response to this demand, Shore Cold Storage & Logistics Inc. has been formed to build and operate a processing and cold storage facility to meet the needs of fishery and agricultural harvesters, producers and processors doing business in the region.
The 34,000 sq. ft. cold storage freezer facility, with bait processing and product freezing capability, in Little Brook, NS has a storage capacity of approximately 8.0 million pounds.
Key customers will be LFA 33, 34 and 35 harvesters, followed by herring, scallop and ground fish producers, mink feed producers and berry growers.
IFPs customer base is not limited to SouthWest Nova and we have strong interest from harvesters near Halifax, from New Brunswick and from producers of fish product in the US.
The facility will be available 24 hours per day during peak seasons, a service not currently available in the region. We expect that this option will be attractive for between 100-150 local fishermen and fishing operations.
Watch this video to learn more about Innovative Fishery Products Inc.