P.E.I. potato exports to U.S. resuming effective immediately | CBC News


Exports of Prince Edward Island table-stock potatoes to the US are resuming efficient instantly.

America Division of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Well being Inspection Service (APHIS) amended its necessities for the importation of desk potatoes from P.E.I. on Friday.

The information comes following an announcement from the Canadian Meals Inspection Company final week indicating the company can be lifting its ban on exporting P.E.I. desk or consuming potatoes — however not seed or processing potatoes — with circumstances. 

Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau spoke with Mainstreet host Matt Rainnie Friday afternoon shortly after the information broke. 

“It is excellent news for our desk inventory potatoes to see the market open for the mainland within the U.S.,” Bibeau mentioned. 

“The potato trade is so vital, it is a part of your id … once we can see [potatoes] leaving the Island and going to the U.S. it’ll be nice.”

Island farmers have mentioned an estimated 300 million kilos of potatoes must be destroyed this winter.

Friday’s announcement additionally means baggage shipped to Puerto Rico will now not need to be labelled, Bibeau mentioned, and shipments are now not restricted in measurement.

Alex Docherty of Skye View Farms and his father watch as a truck load of potatoes is dumped in a area to be destroyed. Island farmers have mentioned they anticipated to destroy an estimated 300 million kilos of potatoes this winter. (Submitted by Alex Docherty )

“We will now ship these potatoes in totes, or in bulk as properly so it is excellent news for … farmers on the Island.”

Seed potato exports nonetheless aren’t anticipated to renew till 2023. Bibeau mentioned the investigation is ongoing and Ottawa will preserve working with seed producers to see how they are often supported within the interim.

“It is extraordinarily onerous for seed growers, however lets take the excellent news for desk inventory growers at this time,” she mentioned.

“Seed potatoes are supposed to be planted, so the danger for them is bigger — so because of this we have to full the investigation. We are going to preserve working carefully, see how we will assist them by way of the lack of final 12 months and in addition see what alternatives they will have and the way we will assist you … we are going to work collectively to discover a clear path ahead.”

Situations for importation

The CFIA mentioned final week the U.S. would require P.E.I. potatoes, in addition to the seed potatoes used to supply them, “originate from fields not identified to be infested with potato wart or related to identified infestations.” 

‘It is extraordinarily onerous for seed growers, however lets take the excellent news for desk inventory growers at this time,’ says Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Meals Marie-Claude Bibeau. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Different circumstances state that P.E.I. potatoes have to be:

  • Washed and sprout-nipped.
  • Graded to satisfy the U.S. No. 1 normal.
  • Formally inspected by the nationwide plant safety group of Canada and authorized as assembly USDA necessities.

Shipments of contemporary potatoes to the US and its territory of Puerto Rico, and finally the remainder of Canada, have been suspended following the invention of potato wart in two Island fields in October.

The CFIA halted shipments of seed and table-stock potatoes to the U.S. in November, prompted by a U.S. menace that it could act if Canada didn’t. Canadian officers have been involved that an American motion can be tougher to reverse.  

Wart is a fungus that disfigures potatoes in order that they’re unmarketable and reduces yields, however poses no well being threat to people.

We’ll imagine all of it and see all of it when the hundreds begin going south they usually get to the border, to the vacation spot the place persons are in search of them.— John Visser

John Visser, chair of the P.E.I. Potato Board, mentioned farmers are relieved they will resume delivery to the U.S. He mentioned orders are already beginning to are available.

“I assume this simply goes to indicate that the science did work all alongside,” he mentioned.

“Hopefully there will be no surprises. We’ll imagine all of it and see all of it when the hundreds begin going south they usually get to the border, to the vacation spot the place persons are in search of them.”

The P.E.I. Potato Board estimates commerce with the U.S. would have been $120 million this season.


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