Cavendish Farms Importing ‘Record’ Amount of Potatoes
Cavendish Farms in New Annan, P.E.I., which processes potatoes into French fries, is importing what it says is a “record number” of potatoes from other locations to the Island this winter, due to the shortage registered in the region.
The Irving-owned company contracts with P.E.I. growers for its needs but has come up short with a poor crop this fall.
“Island potatoes come first and we are buying whatever quality volume Island farmers can supply. However, as CBC has reported in several stories, the dry summer and the early frost in September has meant the overall yield, size and color of potatoes on P.E.I. are well below the average standard,” said Mary Keith, vice-president of communications for J.D. Irving Ltd., in an email to CBC News.
So far Cavendish Farms has brought in more than 20 million pounds (nine million kilograms) of potatoes, which is more than in previous years, Keith said. The company says it still needs to bring in more than 100 million pounds (45.5 million kilograms) of potatoes from New Brunswick, Alberta, Maine and Idaho.
The company explains that there are significand additional costs to transport the potatoes and this is not sustainable in the long term.
Island farmers estimated they left almost 2,800 hectares of potatoes in the ground last November, and production was down by 8% according to Statistics Canada.