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Current Position:Home » News » Processed Foods » Topic

Cavendish Farms import 'record' amount of potatoes to P.E.I. for processing

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2019-02-01  Views: 5
Core Tip: Cavendish Farms in New Annan, P.E.I., which processes potatoes into French fries, states it is importing ‘a record number’ of potatoes from other locations to the Island this winter.
Cavendish Farms in New Annan, P.E.I., which processes potatoes into French fries, states it is importing ‘a record number’ of potatoes from other locations to the Island this winter.

The Irving-owned company contracts with P.E.I. growers for its needs but has come up short with a poor crop this fall.

Mary Keith, vice-president of communications for J.D. Irving Ltd., stated: "Island potatoes come first and we are buying whatever quality volume Island farmers can supply. However, the dry summer and the early frost in September has meant the overall yield, size and colour of potatoes on P.E.I. are well below the average standard."

So far Cavendish Farms has brought in more than 9,000 tons of potatoes, which is more than in previous years, Keith said. She added that the potatoes are being shipped from New Brunswick, Alberta, Maine and Idaho.

"There is a significant additional cost to transport potatoes these long distances to P.E.I.," she said. "In a fiercely competitive fry marketplace, these costs cannot be passed on to the customer. What we know for certain is that this situation is not sustainable — for Island potato growers and the processing plants on P.E.I."

P.E.I. produced 8 percent fewer spuds

This year P.E.I. had a cold spring which delayed planting, followed by a hot, dry summer and a wet, cold fall. Island farmers estimated they left almost 2,800 hectares of potatoes in the ground last November, and production was down by eight per cent according to Statistics Canada. Other provinces also saw problems — Canada's overall production was down three percent.

However, according to cbc.ca¸ even with the drop in production, P.E.I. was still the largest grower in the country last year with 21.8 percent of the overall crop.

 
 
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