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March 13, 2015
For immediate release

Prince Edward Island is “Canada’s Food Island”

Premier's Office

Government will strengthen support for the province’s food sector, including fishers, farmers and processors, to establish and promote Prince Edward Island as “Canada’s Food Island.”

Premier Wade MacLauchlan shared government’s commitment to grow Prince Edward Island’s reputation as a producer of internationally recognized premium culinary products during a visit to the Easter Beef Show and Sale.

“Islanders are proud of our food culture; we are deeply connected to the land and sea, and harvest some of the finest products in the world, including potatoes, shellfish, blueberries and beef,” said the Premier. “Food is a vital component of our provincial economy: 40 per cent of our international exports are from food processing, and food processing and primary agriculture accounts for 10 per cent of our provincial GDP.”

Fishing and farming industries have shaped Prince Edward Island and will continue to do so, leading the province’s exports and employing thousands of Islanders. Government will build on the successes the province has achieved to establish Prince Edward Island as home to internationally recognized premium food products and as a destination for culinary excellence.

“The increasing interest in food tourism and high quality Prince Edward Island branded food products are the key foundations for the growth of my business,” said Jeff McCourt of Glasgow Glen Farm.

This will include working closely with industry and the federal government to open new markets and promote partnerships across government and producers on the implementation of a provincial food strategy. It will also build on successful initiatives such as such as the Fall Flavours Festival.

Initiatives will include:

- Establishing new lending programs for PEI beef farmers to launch a new “PEI Lean Beef” initiative;

- Expanding the Island’s fresh lobster holding capacity through expansion of existing facilities and, where required, the establishment of new ones;

- A new partnership with Quebec celebrity chef Ricardo. Quebec is a key market for tourism;

- Encouraging Islanders to purchase local food; and

- Exploring new market relationships for seafood in European and Asian markets and identify opportunities for new products.

“The reputation of Prince Edward Island as a producer of high quality lobster products has been vital in the emergence of our great brand,” said Craig Avery, President of the PEI Fisherman’s Association. “It’s imperative to all fishermen that we leverage that brand equity in all our markets to help achieve premium prices for our amazing products.”

Prince Edward Island recently reached a historic milestone, marking $1 billion in foreign exports for the first time in a single year in 2014. Promotion of Island food products on the national and international stage will result in a direct economic benefit to the province.

Establishing and branding Prince Edward Island as “Canada’s Food Island” will create new opportunities for farmers and fishers in rural communities and support emerging and innovative companies and producers.

Media Contact: Mary Moszynski
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