How it started
Since 1984, Astina Forest AG, a Swiss owned company has been purchasing land around the Batchawana Bay area, accumulating 60,000 acres to date. Expansion began with the idea to start a sustainable forestry business on its own land. In the early 1990s, a local forester, originally from Germany, began implementing forest management practices utilized on European tolerant hardwood stands. A selective management approach was utilized to increase overall stand health and quality.
Since inception, Astina had hired local foresters for its forest management, but it was now looking to diversify the use of its forest. In 2016, Astina activated Black Bird Management Ltd., a Canadian affiliate incorporated in 1983. Black Bird was contracted to oversee forest management activities and seek out alternative uses for the forest.
In 2017, Black Bird began market research on maple sap and syrup. Our research found that production technology advanced considerably in recent years and that natural sugars, genuine organic products and plant-based drinks are popular food trends. Black Bird began work on site selection, engineering and contracting. A 2,500 acre site was selected at Harmony Bay, 40 kilometers north of Sault Ste. Marie. The site was selected for its proximity to power, proximity to highway and for its unique topography. The processing facility is located in the beautiful Harmony River valley.