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Canadian Federal Government invests in potato exports

Investment worth nearly $1.4 million

By Diego Flammini,

In an effort to continue to promote Canadian potatoes on a global scale, Canada’s federal government is investing in research to help make that happen.

A research partnership between the government and Potatoes New Brunswick worth nearly $1.4 million will help the provincial organization conduct national research aimed at helping improve yields and competitiveness of Canadian French fries.

French fries

"Potatoes are a staple on family kitchen tables across Canada and around the world, and are a key driver of our economic growth,” said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz in a release. “This research partnership will build future growth by giving processors access to more of the quality Canadian potatoes that give their fries a world-class reputation.”

Potatoes New Brunswick, a not-for-profit organization, established in 2006 which aims to promote the province’s potato sector, will work with other organizations across Canada to promote the country’s potatoes and farmers.

The P.E.I Potato Board, McCain Foods, the Manitoba Horticulture Productivity Enhancement Centre, Dalhousie University, the University of Manitoba and the Institut National de la Recerche Scientifique in Quebec City are among the colleagues who will help with the research.

"The stakes for processing potatoes in Canada have never been higher,” said Shawn Paget, Chair of Potatoes New Brunswick. “This funding will allow Canadian potato producers to expedite the process and introduce new technology and best management practices to secure and develop export markets. A national approach allows our industry to pool resources and make a concentrated effort to improve yields, secure grower profitability and increase competitiveness.”

Canadian potatoes account for more than 30% of vegetables produced in the country. The French fry sector buys nearly half of all Canadian potato production, generating more than $700 million in export sales annually.

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