The Nova Scotia government is helping a Kentville manufacturer of pie products to expand and create up to 35 new jobs. The Office of Economic Development will provide an innovation incentive of $1.5 million to Apple Valley Foods Incorporated to support a five-year expansion planned by the agri-food company between 2005 and 2010, Economic Development Minister Ernest Fage announced today, Aug. 11. “The expansion will upgrade the facility to improve efficiency so Apple Valley increases export sales and creates new jobs,” said Mr. Fage. “Building up export capacity creates strong jobs and strong communities in rural Nova Scotia,” he added. Since opening in 2000, Apple Valley has created 115 jobs. The company produces more than 60,000 pies a day for Canadian and American markets. With the planned expansion, sales are expected to increase by 50 per cent and the number of jobs to increase to 150 by 2010. “The province’s financial support allows our company to purchase new equipment and expand our facilities to increase our manufacturing capability, creating new opportunities in the Annapolis Valley,” said company president Jeff Sarsfield. “It increases our ability to export product and create new jobs for Nova Scotians.” The innovation incentive will amount to $750,000 in 2005-06 and $750,000 in 2006-07. “We are delighted the province is helping to build Nova Scotia’s potential as a manufacturer and exporter of value-added food products,” said Waldo Walsh, president of the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’ Association. “This investment not only helps Apple Valley and its workforce, it also supports the producers who supply the plant from the agri-food sector, which is such an important generator of direct and indirect jobs in rural communities.” The Sarsfield family has majority ownership of Apple Valley Foods Incorporated. The remainder of the firm is held by American partner Harlan Bakeries Inc. of Indianapolis, Ind.