Business/Policy
The Prince Edward Island Potato Board has a new executive as a result of its December 4th board of directors meeting.

Darryl Wallace of Cascumpec was elected as the new chairman of the board. Wallace and his family own and operate Wallace Family Farms. He represents the processing sector for the West Prince District on the board.

The new vice-chairman of the board is Jason Hayden of Pownal. Hayden and his family own and operate Eastern Farms Ltd. He represents the tablestock sector for the Charlottetown District.

The third member of the executive committee is John Hogg of Summerside who was elected secretary-treasurer. Hogg represents the processing sector for the Summerside District.

Also joining the board is Chad Robertson of Marvyn's Gardens. He will be representing the Tablestock sector for the Montague/Souris District.

The remaining board directors are Rodney Dingwell, Alex Docherty, Fulton Hamill, Glen Rayner, Wayne Townshend, David Francis, Mark MacMillan and Harris Callaghan. Ashton Perry of Elmsdale also participates in Board meetings as a representative of the PEI Young Farmers Association.

The Board also recognized the efforts of retiring Board member Owen Ching, tablestock representative for the Montague/Souris District, for his service over the past few years.

The Prince Edward Island Potato Board represents Island potato farmers and assists in growing the markets for PEI Potatoes locally, nationally, and internationally. The Board supports the production of high quality potatoes in an environmentally responsible manner, and is funding and conducting research in the areas of soil health, pest and disease management, quality and yield.

Directors are elected to represent four districts across the province, and each district is represented by a seed grower, a tablestock grower and a processing grower. Directors serve three year terms and are eligible for re-election to serve a second three year term. The directors serving on the PEI Potato Board are all from family farms with a heritage of growing potatoes and other crops for many years.
Published in News
The PEI Potato Industry has released a 30 second commercial highlighting the industry. The farmers from the Island are proud of what they do and want to showcase the positive work.

The project was filmed over the summer and early fall on different farms and field locations all over Prince Edward Island. It was directed and produced by Furrow Creative in Charlottetown PEI. The video features Island potato farmers and their families doing what they do best – growing the best quality potatoes in the world.

"We have so much to be proud of and thankful for in our potato industry here on PEI. It's the backbone of our economy, it's a major part of our culture and PEI wouldn't be the same without it." says Rodney Dingwell, Chairman of the PEI Potato Board.

The video will air primarily on local television with a digital campaign airing in the Ontario and Atlantic Canadian markets.

So what does it take to grow a quality potato? For the PEI Potato industry, it takes an Island! For more information, visit: https://www.peipotato.org/

Published in Markets and Marketing
Cavendish Farms has officially opened its new potato storage facility, which will mean the company can supply potatoes year-round.

The new facility, says a statement, is 88,000 sq. ft. and has a refrigerated potato storage capacity of 48 million pounds. The facility is split into two separate buildings with each building being 44,000 sq. ft.

Cavendish Farms is using the Tolsma System, which will allow the company to maintain consistent quality potatoes all year for use at its two processing plants on the island. For the full story, click here.
Published in News
McCain Foods (Canada) has officially opened its new $65M state-of-the-art potato specialty production line, expanding the company's flagship potato processing facility in Florenceville-Bristol, New Brunswick.

The new 35,000 square foot McCain Foods potato specialty production line addition represents the largest capacity expansion investment in Canada in nearly 10 years. The investment is reflective of the continued growth of the North American frozen potato and potato specialty segments in both the retail and food service businesses.

"Florenceville continues to be the French fry capital of the world. The official opening of the new production line reflects McCain's ongoing commitment to invest in the needs of our consumers and customers today, and also the company's focus towards future product development and innovation," said Jeff DeLapp, president, NA, McCain Foods Limited.

"During our 60th year of business, investment in the Florenceville-Bristol facility is a testament to the importance the community holds as the birthplace of McCain Foods," added DeLapp. "In addition to the more than 40 new jobs created, the construction build stimulated economic activity within the region, and an additional demand of 4,000 acres of potatoes is to be supplied to the facility by New Brunswick potato farmers."

A strong, sustainable Canadian business

Since the company was founded in 1957, McCain's leadership in the Canadian frozen potato market segment across all retail, food service and quick service restaurants (QSR) channels is undisputed.

All of McCain's potato products are made from 100% real potatoes grown on farms close to our facilities, which are spread across the country in New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Alberta.

"McCain is proud to partner with over 150 farming families across the country" stated Shai Altman, President, McCain Foods (Canada) "Our delicious products are a direct result of the quality potatoes grown by farmers, many of whom share a multi-generational partnership with McCain, some dating back to our start 60 years ago."

For the past 60 years, McCain Foods has grown proudly from its Florenceville, New Brunswick roots. With 30 employees and sales of $150,000 in its first year of business in 1957, the company has grown to become a global enterprise with more than 20,000 employees operating out of 53 production facilities on six continents with sales in excess of CDN $9 billion, while remaining Canadian headquartered and family-owned.

Published in News
Irving-owned Cavendish Farms is opening a new $360-million frozen potato-processing plant in Lethbridge, bringing about 400 jobs to southern Alberta.

Company president Robert K. Irving said it is a big deal for agriculture in Alberta.

"Our business will grow from 6,000 acres of potatoes today, with our present land, up to over 15,000 acres," Irving said at the new plant's groundbreaking earlier this month. "Those 9,000 acres, it's an opportunity for the local farmers, the growers in the region, to really look at the opportunity to grow and expand their operations here and have a long-term future with potatoes." READ MORE
Published in News
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and Consejo Nacional Agropecuario (CNA) have sent a joint letter to Canadian, American and Mexican government officials, reiterating their calls that re-negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) should aim to modernize the agreement, rather than dismantle it.
Published in Business & Policy
The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) recently held an AgriWorkforce Roundtable to discuss challenges and possible solutions to address the critical agricultural labour shortage in Canada.
Published in Business Management
Last month Statistics Canada released the results of the 2016 Census of Agriculture. Like many of you, I was eager to read up on the results and discover how our industry has changed in the five years since the last survey was conducted. 
Published in News

Cavendish Farms will begin construction of a new multimillion-dollar facility in north Lethbridge next spring, the largest private investment ever in the city’s history. It’s the first step towards construction of a new $350-million state-of-the-art frozen potato processing plant that will replace its aging facility in the industrial area.| READ MORE

Published in News

Nov. 28, 2016, Prince Edward Island – Health Canada's proposal to phase out a pesticide over three years will have a significant impact on Island farmers looking to control the Colorado potato beetle, says the P.E.I. Potato Board. | READ MORE

Published in Pest Control

As part of the regular review process, Health Canada has completed its re-evaluation of imidacloprid, and has published its draft risk assessment for public comment. The assessment proposes current use of imidacloprid is not sustainable, and the levels of this pesticide that are being found in waterways and aquatic environments are harmful to aquatic insects, such as mayflies and midges, which are important food sources for fish, birds and other animals.



Concentrations of imidacloprid in surface water can range from non-detectable to, in some rare cases, levels as high as 11.9 parts per billion, according to Health Canada. Scientific evidence indicates levels above 0.041 parts per billion are a concern.

To address the risks identified, Health Canada has published a proposed risk management plan for public comment, which includes a proposed three-year phase-out of agricultural uses of imidacloprid in order to address risks to aquatic insects. In some cases, where there are no alternative pest control products available, a longer phase-out transition period of five years is being proposed.

In a press release, Health Canada said it is consulting on these proposed mitigation measures, and the final re-evaluation decision and risk management plan will take into consideration any comments received during the consultations. 

The consultation phase includes a 90-day commentary period in addition to a multi-stakeholder forum that will discuss any proposals for potential alternative mitigation strategies that would achieve the same outcomes in a similar timeframe. 

Any proposals for continued registration will need to clearly demonstrate concrete actions to ensure levels of imidacloprid in water will be reduced below the level of concern.

Based on the findings of the re-evaluation assessment on imidacloprid, Health Canada is also launching special reviews for two other widely used neonicotinoids: clothianidin and thiamethoxam. These special reviews will examine any potential risks these pesticides may pose to aquatic invertebrates, including insects, as they are also being detected frequently in aquatic environments.

In the press release, Health Canada said it will provide updates as new information becomes available.

Published in Pest Control

Nov. 21, 2016, Prince Edward Island – The Prince Edward Island Potato Board says the high price for potatoes will put millions of extra dollars into the provincial economy this winter. | READ MORE

Published in News

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has deregulated the Ranger Russet and Atlantic varieties of the second generation genetically modified Innate potato developed by J.R. Simplot.

They join the Innate second generation Russet Burbank potato, deregulated last year, according to a news release. The Packer reports. | READ MORE
Published in Traits and Genetics

June 23, 2016, New Brunswick – McCain Foods Canada has announced a major investment in its French fry plant in Florenceville-Bristol, N.B. This investment is expected to expand capability and create 40 to 50 new jobs. | READ MORE

Published in News

May 19, 2016, Prince Edward Island – Potato farmers across P.E.I. are busy planting this year's crop, but those who used to sell to McCain Foods have the added worry of wondering where next year's crop will be heading, writes the Guardian. | READ MORE

Published in News

April 15, 2016, Edmonton – Edmonton’s Little Potato Company is eyeing a major expansion with its first plant in the United States. The homegrown success story is building a processing, packing and storage facility that will also serve as its U.S. headquarters in DeForest, Wis., about 25 kilometres north of the capital in Madison. | READ MORE

Published in News

March 31, 2016, Canada – The organization that represents Canada’s major grocery chains says it has full confidence in selling genetically engineered foods that have been approved by Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. | READ MORE

Published in News

March 22, 2016, Canada – Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have approved a genetically engineered potato for sale, said a U.S.-based company on Monday in announcing that its non-browning spuds could be in Canadian supermarkets by Thanksgiving. | READ MORE

 

Published in Traits and Genetics

March 9, 2016, Prince Edward Island – The Island’s staple potato industry may be experiencing a slump, writes The Guardian. At least one Island potato grower who recently attended the International Potato Expo says farms like his are struggling to sell potatoes because there are just too many of them. | READ MORE

Published in Markets and Marketing

March 3, 2016, Charlottetown, PEI – With its highest attendance in a decade, the 2016 edition of the International Potato Technology Expo – held Feb. 26-27 – was a resounding success.

Approximately 3,200 industry professionals walked the show floor to check out the diverse grouping of local, regional, national, and international exhibitors. Potato growers, together with the leading manufacturers of equipment and product solutions from across the Maritimes and beyond were in attendance.

Matt Mitchell, show manager, said he was very pleased with the outcome of the event.

“We were happy to see that this year’s edition drew the show’s highest attendance since 2006,” he said. “I think the excellent conference program really contributed to that, given that it was so well attended. Likewise, we certainly couldn’t have asked for better weather, and the addition of the tractors was a great draw for potato farmers.”

Exhibitors echoed the positive sentiments.

“This year’s show was another very successful event,” said Brian Beaton, potato industry coordinator with the PEI Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. “All the major suppliers to the potato industry were there and attendance by potato growers was very high. I heard many positive comments about the speakers at the conference and many said that they picked up some valuable information for their farm.”

“The potato expo provided an excellent opportunity to connect with our customers and others in the ag industry,” said Karen MacInnis Larter, Farm Credit Canada (FCC) marketing program manager.

“We were proud to be the major sponsor for this year’s event,” she added. “It was a great showcase and an excellent learning event for producers. They could find industry related information pertinent to their operations and hear top-notch speakers. It was a quality event from start to finish.”

“We found the expo extremely beneficial,” said Trent Cousins, Allan Potato Handling Equipment Ltd. “We feel there was a huge attendance from our industry. Having our exhibit in the show put us in touch with many customers, both new and existing, that we may not have had the chance to meet with. We will definitely be attending again in the future.”

“I can honestly say that this year show was by far better for us in quality lead generation and people coming to visit our booth; industry interest was like we haven’t seen in a few years,” said Marco Gagnon, GOW Group Inc. “All in all, we qualify this event a success for us.”

This year, a full educational conference program was offered alongside the tradeshow portion of the event. It featured seminar presentations from leading experts, including Dr. Tom Wolf, Agrimetrix Research & Training, Saskatoon, SK; Dr. Bernie Zebarth, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Fredericton, NB; Dr. Gefu Wang-Pruski, Dalhousie University Agricultural Campus, Truro, NS; and Lane Stockbrugger, Farm Credit Canada, Englefeld, SK. The conference was well attended with 173 registrants and strong attendance for both the morning and afternoon sessions.

The next edition of the International Potato Technology Expo will occur in February 2018 and information will be posted online at www.PotatoExpo.ca as it becomes available.

Published in Machinery
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