Ocean Nutrition boosting Nova Scotia's presence

Nov 5, 2002

Ocean Nutrition Canada (ONC) Ltd., already a world leader in marine-based natural health and nutritional products, is planning to build on its success with a four-year, multi-million dollar expansion, and support from Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI).  

The expansion will increase capacity at ONC's Mulgrave facility, where it produces concentrated long chain Omega 3 fatty acids (Omega 3 fatty acids are essential to human health), and establish a micro-encapsulation processing plant in Dartmouth. At present, the company already operates the largest privately owned marine natural products research facility in North America in Halifax's Biosciences Enterprise Centre.

Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd. has been able to establish cost-efficient manufacturing processes in Nova Scotia, producing products that can be marketed worldwide and ensuring that research and development expertise remains in the province. More than 90 per cent of ONC's revenues come from international markets.

ONC has been successful, not only at discovering new health-giving bioactives from marine organisms, but also developing and patenting new technologies targeted at the global functional food industry, said Robert Orr, General Manager of Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd.

With the expansion, the Mulgrave facility will increase to about 300 employees from 110, and the Halifax facility will increase to about 270 employees from 60, for a total increase of 400. NSBI authorized $6.2 million in working capital financing by amending existing loan terms and conditions to support the company's continued growth requirements.

We are very pleased to support ONC in its efforts to expand, said Cecil Clarke, Minister of Economic Development. The company's commitment to growth is creating new markets for its products and good jobs for Nova Scotians.

ONC is an excellent example of the successful innovative business spirit that will carry Nova Scotia forward in the coming years, said Stephen Lund, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc. They've taken one of our natural resources, added value and have become a world-class business in one of our key growth sectors life sciences.

ONC's Mulgrave facility is the only plant in North America that produces highly concentrated long chain Omega 3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are naturally found in the oil of fatty fish like salmon, sardines and anchovies, and are scientifically and clinically proven to significantly reduce the risks of heart disease. A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that maintaining high levels of EPA and DHA in the body can reduce the risk of Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) by more than 80 per cent for people living in North America. More than 275,000 people die of SCD in North America every year.

Nova Scotia Business Inc. is the province's business development agency, an organization that prides itself on working with companies to deliver business solutions. The private sector-led agency works to attract new businesses to the province and help those already in Nova Scotia expand through services such as export development and financing.