The New Brunswick Export Awards recognize outstanding export performance by New Brunswick-based companies in the international marketplace. The Awards aim to celebrate the business savvy, entrepreneurial spirit, and innovation of businesses located in the province that have achieved either recent and/or ongoing success in developing new markets.

Award winners are selected by a judging panel made up of carefully selected business experts from the private sector and academia. Judges are chosen based on their knowledge of the New Brunswick business community and their understanding of international trade.

The 2017 awards ceremony was held last night at the Edmundston Convention Centre, with companies being honored in six categories.

Here’s a recap of this year’s outstanding award winners:

1. The Exporter of the Year (over $5 million in export sales) Award recognizes the company that represents an all-around excellence in export. The winner is the one that demonstrates a significant increase in export sales (over $5 million) over previous years but also demonstrates solid market diversification, new product developments, and notable innovations.

New Brunswick ExportsWinner: GE Barbour Inc. 

G.E. Barbour Inc. is a family-owned multi-product food processor based in Sussex. Founded in 1867, Barbour’s has become a leading processor and blender of natural and organic food products to include: tea, peanut and almond butter, extracts, flavours and spices. The company offers a wide range of branded products as well as private label and custom house brand solutions for many leading brands, retailers, and food service operators. Barbour’s King Cole Tea is the number one tea brand in Atlantic Canada and has been a staple for many families for generations. Known throughout the industry for being fast, flexible and committed to satisfying its customers’ unique needs, the Barbour’s philosophy is simple “grow by growing others.”

2. The Exporter of the Year (under $5 million in export sales) Award recognizes the company that represents an all-around excellence in export. The winner is the one that demonstrates a significant increase in export sales (under $5 million) over previous years.

New Brunswick ExportsWinner: Mrs. Dunster’s 

In 2014, Blair and Rosalyn Hyslop achieved their goal of having a family business when they purchased Mrs. Dunster’s in Sussex. The company had been part of Dairytown which was being acquired by Agropur. Senior management was staying with Agropur, which was going to be a challenge in its own right. The day after buying the business they received a call from a customer telling them they were making the decision to move their business. Mrs. Dunster’s had been the distributor for this customer’s product line and they represented 15% of the total company’s revenue.

Within 24 hours of acquiring Mrs. Dunster’s, with no management team in place and everything on the line, the Hyslops found themselves with the prospect of losing 15% of their business and a weakened distribution network with some representatives losing up to 25% of their commission-based income.

Despite these setbacks, in two years the company has increased sales 93%, created 69 new jobs, absorbed the cost of the new management team and achieved record profits. Today, Mrs. Dunster’s operates bakeries in Sussex, New Brunswick and Borden, Prince Edward Island, and distributes its products to more than 600 stores and restaurants in the Maritimes, Maine, Newfoundland, Ontario, and Quebec.

3. The Innovative Exporter of the Year Award recognizes companies who have successfully employed innovative marketing techniques to expand their export markets, and/or companies whose products are seen as cutting edge in terms of innovation.

New Brunswick ExportsWinner: Corruven Canada

Corruven is a technological leader and eco-friendly company that manufactures high-performance composites. The company’s purpose is to unite a family of leaders to build a better world through game-changing innovation.

The company is recognized for its patented Corruven® technology that optimizes the natural strength of wood (a natural carbon fibre) to create solutions that help its partners achieve excellence.

Corruven’s solutions are made from recycled materials which save up to 75% of the forests (CO²) and 75% of transportation and handling costs.  The company’s plant is 100,000 square feet and has the capacity to produce more than 60 million square feet of corrugated products. Corruven offers innovative solutions to its customers and partners working in the concrete framework, bed platform, industrial packaging and architectural panel sectors. Through its innovative business practices, Corruven seeks to inspire other leaders to innovate and build a more prosperous world for their business and future generations.

4. The Global Diversification Award recognizes companies who have opened up new markets outside of Canada and the United States. This award seeks to acknowledge the perseverance of those companies who’ve expanded their reach outside of the North American market.

Winner: Lizotte Machine Vision

Marcel Lizotte started Lizotte Consultants Ltd, in 1985, as an international provider of irrigation and field drainage services. Services were supplied to many high profile companies in countries ranging from Guatemala, Costa Rica, Tunisia, and India.

In 1994, machine vision processes and technologies were added to Lizotte’s business portfolio. Hence, Lizotte Machine Vision now has a group of highly motivated experts focused on applying leading edge technologies to the global seafood and food processing industries. Lizotte Machine Vision specializes in custom-built equipment for total quality control, sorting, and grading in the seafood and food industries.

Lizotte Machine Vision integrates various advanced machine vision technologies including, x-ray, color camera, and laser to obtain the most precise sorting, grading, and quality control.

The engineering team at Lizotte Machine Vision strives to develop new applications that will significantly differentiate themselves from major international x-ray and vision suppliers.  In fact, Lizotte offers systems integrating numerous technologies within the same machine such as weight assessment, size determination, visual and internal defect detection combined with a packaging station. Thus, Lizotte is now offering integrated solutions not available anywhere else.

5. The Emerging Exporter of the Year Award recognizes those companies who are new to export within the past five years (began exporting no earlier than 2012). Nominees are judged on a host of criteria including the volume of export sales, level of difficulty in entering new markets, novel approaches taken, and new products developed specifically for export markets.

Winner: SimpTek Technologies Inc.

SimpTek is a unique platform that brings together efficiency-focused services, products, and property stakeholders who are looking to have just one turnkey platform to leverage real-time data to make their buildings as energy efficient as possible. Not only does this increase operational cash-flow while driving down costs month over month, but it also increases the resale value of the property.

Whether you are a property manager, building owner, municipal utility operator or electrical utility, SimpTek’s platform will constantly mine your real-time data to match you and/or your customers with the right products, service providers, and rebates, exactly when you need them.

Unlike its competitors, you do not need to have energy expertise on your team, know what products to use or who can install them. SimpTek allows your team to continue expertly serving your customers while its platform handles the rest, no matter where you are in the world.

6. The Foreign-Owned Exporter Award recognizes those foreign-owned companies who are successfully exporting New Brunswick-produced products. While their headquarters are located outside the province, their facilities here provide New Brunswick residents with valuable jobs and make significant contributions to the provincial economy.

Winner: Boise Cascade Alljoist

Boise Cascade Alljoist is a manufacturer of solid sawn I-Joists used in residential and light commercial buildings.  In July 2000, Boise Cascade purchased the I-Joist facility in St-Jacques, New Brunswick.

Boise Cascade Alljoist reached $70 million in sales in 2006.  Then in 2007, faced with the economic downturn, the company reduced its production and operational costs in order to ensure its long-term viability.  In 2009, sales reached its lowest level at $20 million.  By 2016, the company’s sales were up to $46 million.  Boise Cascade Alljoist is proud to offer a safe work environment to over 100 employees and has been recognized as a leader in safety in the Province of New Brunswick.

Over the past 15 years, the company has invested over $20 million in the New Brunswick facility to help lower production costs and increase productivity.

Opportunities NB would like to extend our congratulations to all of this year’s winners!

Written by Jason Boies