March 28, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, concluded a two-day visit to Prince Edward Island on Sunday. The trip included stops in Charlottetown, Crapaud, Victoria, Wellington, and O'Leary to meet with farmers across the Island, and discuss the upcoming growing season and reopening of the table stock potatoes market to the United States. The visit comes at a critical time for the industry, since resuming exports of Prince Edward Island table stock potatoes into the continental United States. will provide the predictability and assurance farmers need for the next potato growing season.
Recognizing the importance of strong collaboration between governments at all levels, Minister Bibeau met with Prince Edward Island Minister of Agriculture Bloyce Thompson in Charlottetown, where both discussed how to best support the industry moving forward. In addition, they also took the opportunity to discuss the Next Agricultural Policy Framework, which will play an important role in Canada's commitment to tackling climate change and creating a sustainable future in Canadian agriculture.
Minister Bibeau also met with Ray and Alvin Keenan of Rollo Bay Holdings, a family run potato growing and packaging operation located in Souris, and a major player in retail and food service for over 70 years.
After meeting with Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, to discuss priorities for the capital, Minister Bibeau was joined by Heath MacDonald, Member of Parliament for Malpeque, to meet with John Visser, Chairman of the PEI Potato Board, and a group of growers. During a tour of Mr. Visser's farm in Crapaud, as well as the Thompson Potato Company in Victoria, potato growers shared with Minister Bibeau how the closure of the United States market has impacted their operations and their priorities going forward.
The Minister then travelled to Wellington and O'Leary, accompanied by Bobby Morrissey, Member of Parliament for Egmont, where she toured Urbainville Farms and J&J Farms, to learn about their unique approaches to potato farming and their visions for the future.
Minister Bibeau concluded her trip back in Charlottetown where she had a productive meeting with the PEI Potato Board about how to best position the Island's potato industry for success in the short and long term.
Prince Edward Island has a long history of producing the highest quality potatoes for Canadians and international consumers. The Government of Canada will continue to stand up for Prince Edward Island potato farmers who are integral to their communities and our economy.