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Pressure continues on supply of PEI potatoes

Supplies of potatoes from Canada’s Prince Edward Island province are very tight.

Supplies of potatoes from Canada’s Prince Edward Island province are very tight.

Jennifer Harris of Mid Isle Farms in Albany, PEI:

“We’re short in Canada and I know they’re also short in Europe and the U.S. has issues as well and it’s due to weather.”

“We had everything. We had a wet spring which delayed growers getting into the fields for planting and then we had a very dry summer that affected yields.”

“And then when October came, it rained and then froze much earlier than it normally would.”
Harris notes that for the province of Prince Edward Island, the estimate is 7,000 acres of potatoes were left in the field as a result of the weather variations.

Handling demand pressures

At the same time, with good demand for potatoes, Harris notes Mid Isle has turned to economics 101 to manage supplies.

Jennifer Harris:

“It’s carefully managed based on prices, there’ve been higher prices and that’s slowed demand but unfortunately it diverts demand to other regions.”
Prices on Russet Potatoes have increased by approximately 18% over last year.

Looking ahead, Harris expects demand will continue to be strong for PEI potatoes.

Jennifer Harris:

“Ontario and Quebec will both be cleaning up so I expect more regions will come to us for product.”
And while export numbers have gone up overall, for the United States, they’ve dropped slightly.

Jennifer Harris:

“Idaho had a decent crop while Wisconsin had troubles. But they are okay for supply down there.”
Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) Trade Show

Meanwhile Mid Isle Farms will represent Prince Edward Island this year at the upcoming Canadian Produce Marketing Association show taking place April 2-4 in Montreal, Quebec

Jennifer Harris:

“We’re hoping to create awareness about our company and market our product, make new contacts and most importantly the opportunity to reinforce current relations with customers.”

“This year’s theme is innovation which is fantastic. We need that moving forward as an industry and hopefully the CPMA convention will inspire produce organizations to take things to the next level.”
Visit Mid Isle Farms at Booth #930.