New International Blue Cooperative showcases the economic potential of Quebec’s biomarine industry to global markets

November 15, 2019 | Press Release



HUNTINGDON (QC) – November 15, 2019 – The International Blue Cooperative (IBC), to be headquartered on Quebec’s Lower North Shore, was officially founded in Portugal at the BioMarine Business Convention on November 2, 2019.  The IBC was formed to bring together community leadership, researchers, policy makers, and the private sector to help develop long-term sustainable and ethical marine development in rural and remote regions worldwide. IBC’s Canadian leadership will work closely with representatives in Mexico, France and Australia to build the cooperative network globally.

The IBC is a new community-centred model that builds and uses local knowledge, capacity and leadership within an international supply chain of marine raw resources. Its membership structure will join local producers and harvesters with other key industry players in the supply chain such as transformers, distributors, commercial/retail and private and public investors.

“The decision to have the headquarters for the IBC in St. Paul’s River, Quebec is borne out of the immense local capacity we are developing thanks to our strong network including scientific, education and civil society partners and public and private sector investments,” said Kimberly Buffitt, who was named President of the IBC at the founding annual general meeting.

On Quebec’s Lower North Shore, the harvesting and transformation of marine products including fish bi-products, sea cucumbers and seaweed represents high economic potential in global markets. Locally, it represents new opportunities for business and job creation and increased sales for producers and fishers as the ‘blue bioeconomy’ increases demand for natural pure raw materials for the cosmetic, nutrition and pharmaceutical industries, as well as biomaterials for packaging and industrial products.

“Oceans cover more than seventy percent of the Earth’s surface and we are only just beginning to tap the potential of this ‘blue’ economy,” said Pierre Erwes, oceanographer, entrepreneur and founder of the BioMarine Business Convention. “But we don’t want to repeat mistakes of the past. We must contribute significantly to the responsible and sustainable use of marine ecosystems, to ensure the highest possible level of economic growth while conserving the natural resource from which that very growth depends.”

“CEDEC is proud to have played a role in the formation of Blue Nordic, which we see as an important model of public-private-civil society collaboration to advance innovative product development using the plentiful marine raw resources that are available in Quebec’s subarctic specifically the Lower North Shore,” said John Buck, President and CEO of CEDEC, the cooperative’s founding support member.

About the founders of the International Blue Cooperative

BioMarine is an organization at the crossroads of research, business, and investment. BioMarine operates and manages BioMarine Business Convention- several international platforms about marine bio resources – with a scientific, economic and societal approach, and is designed to optimize and accelerate business opportunities and the development of small innovative companies. BioMarine is also developing partnerships to extend the scope of its activities specifically in the new media, technology and finance.

The mission of the Lower North Shore Bioproducts Solidarity Co-operative is to stimulate local economic diversification through the sustainable and added-value exploitation of natural-based resources. The vision of the co-operative is to brand the Lower North Shore (LNS) as a world leader in the sustainable exploitation of superior value-added products from natural-based resources for the socio-economic benefit of the region.

CEDEC, a global thinker and local actor, facilitates collaboration across public, private, and civil society sectors to enhance economic activity benefitting communities. CEDEC has worked closely with the Coasters Association Inc. to increase economic development and sustainability for the Lower North Shore region. The Coasters Association Inc. works towards enhancing the quality of life on the Quebec Lower North Shore by creating and supporting community development and community leadership.



Kirsten Hathaway
Communications Officer
(450) 264-5510
(514) 755-7043

Shelley Fequet
Assistant Director of Programs
Coasters Association Inc.
(418) 379-2006 ext 229

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