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September 9, 2014
For immediate release

Cabinet tour highlights potato industry

Premier's Office

Provincial cabinet members met in Fox Island today with the PEI Potato Board and local potato producers to discuss the industry including opportunities and challenges associated with meeting future consumer needs, says Premier Robert Ghiz.

“Prince Edward Island is the largest potato producing province in Canada and the industry is an extremely important and valued sector,” said Premier Ghiz. “Today’s cabinet tour was a great opportunity to learn more about initiatives of the Island’s potato industry and to explore ways that we can collaborate to move the industry forward.”

There are more than 300 potato farmers in Prince Edward Island and 90,500 acres of potatoes were planted in 2014. The industry accounts for $1 billion in direct and indirect economic activity for the province which is nine per cent of Prince Edward Island’s GDP.

Cabinet met at the Elite Seed Farm in Fox Island, a high generation seed potato production facility owned by potato producers and operated by the PEI Potato Board. The Elite Seed Farm ensures commercial Island growers that a local source of clean seed is available to them. All of the seed produced on the Fox Island Elite Seed Farm is sold within the province. Approximately 20 per cent of the potato acreage grown on P.E.I. is grown to seed certification standards.

During the meeting, cabinet members received a presentation by the PEI Potato Board on the industry, its impact to the province and the work being done related to environmental sustainability. While in West Prince, cabinet members participated in a tour of the Barclay Brook area to see first-hand the positive work being done in partnership between industry, community and the local watershed group.

“Our potato producers should be extremely proud of the work that they are doing to produce a high quality crop while staying committed to being good stewards of the land,” said Premier Ghiz. “The Province of Prince Edward Island will continue to work closely with the industry to grow the sector and open new opportunities for Prince Edward Island potatoes while keeping environmental sustainability at the forefront.”

Media Contact: Amber Caseley
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