Government of Canada Secures Market Access for Alberta Seed Potatoes to Thailand

News Release

October 31, 2016 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced today that the Government of Canada has secured market access for Alberta seed potatoes to Thailand.

Effective immediately, Alberta becomes the third province to have an export agreement with Thailand, joining Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, both of which secured export agreements in 2009. Combined, these three provinces form about 76% of Canada's seed potato exports. Alberta's seed potato exports to Thailand could be worth up to $2 million annually, according to industry experts, adding to the $5 million on average exported annually to that country. The increased access will advance the competitiveness of, and create new opportunities for, the seed potato sector.

Quick facts

  • Alberta is a major seed potato producing province and lead seed exporter for Canada. Alberta's seed potato growers produced over 128,000 metric tonnes of seed potatoes in 2015.
  • The province's potato industry as a whole contributes over $1 billion to the economy annually.
  • Canada has been a world leader in seed potato production for more than 90 years, and is the fifth largest seed potato exporter in the world.
  • The potato is the most valuable of all Canada's vegetable crops; it accounts for a third of the annual revenues for Canadian vegetable farmers.
  • Horticulture, which includes the production of fruits, vegetables and potatoes, accounts for 15 percent of Canada's total farm revenues, which translates to more than $6 billion per year.

Quotes

"Our government is pleased to announce the new market access for Alberta's seed potatoes to Thailand. Our government is committed to seeking market access opportunities across the globe to strengthen our bilateral trade relationships, put more money in the pockets of Canadian farmers, and grow the middle class in Canada."

- Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, P.C., M.P., Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

"The Potato Growers of Alberta are pleased to have worked with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry to profile our seed industry to Thailand officials and to receive approval to export seed to their country. Alberta has a very innovative and progressive seed potato industry and is looking forward to the opportunity to grow low virus, high quality seed varieties requested by the Thai potato industry."

- Deb Hart – Seed Potato Coordinator, Potato Growers of Alberta

Additional links

Contacts

Guy Gallant
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay
613-773-1059

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972
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