Supporting Growth and Resilience in PEI’s Agri-Food Sector

News release

Rending of Food Works building in Borden-Carleton.

New food scale-up facility and PEI Potato Industry Market Diversification and Recovery Plan will help producers and agri-food businesses expand and diversify markets

March 11, 2022 · Borden-Carleton, Prince Edward Island · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Prince Edward Island is home to a strong and vibrant food economy, built on the Island's natural resources and an innovative value-added food manufacturing sector. As market and consumer demands evolve, PEI’s agri-food industry continues to adapt and grow through increased automation, strategic collaboration, and market diversification. The Government of Canada is taking steps to ensure farmers and agri-food businesses are ready to expand and diversify by investing in facilities and infrastructure they need to compete on the world stage. 

Strengthening the food innovation ecosystem and the PEI potato sector

Today, Heath MacDonald, Member of Parliament for Malpeque, announced a federal investment of $2.7 million for two projects to support recovery and growth in PEI’s food ecosystem. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.

The Government of Canada is contributing $2 million through Canada’s Jobs and Growth Fund to Central Property Management Inc. (CPM) to transform an existing building in Borden-Carleton into a multi-tenant, food scale-up facility certified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), called Food Works. This new incubator space will strengthen the innovation ecosystem in PEI, create new jobs and be a catalyst for growth in the food sector.

A further contribution of $700,000 through ACOA’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program will support the PEI Potato Industry Market Diversification and Recovery Plan. The investment will bring together PEI’s Food Island Partnership and the PEI Potato Board to strengthen the PEI potato brand while focusing on product safety and quality. The plan will also support market diversification to reach new markets.

Today’s announcement demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to the food industry in Atlantic Canada, supporting growth and job opportunities in rural communities, and working with innovative Atlantic Canadian organizations to boost Canada’s global competitiveness.


“The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sectors are vital parts of an economy that supports both rural and urban communities across the country. As we continue to map a path forward for PEI’s potato industry and support new opportunities for food businesses in the region, the Government of Canada is ensuring the industry is well-positioned for future growth.”
-    The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“Prince Edward Island produces world-class food, and the new Food Works facility will provide PEI agri-food businesses a space to innovate and grow. This funding will also help PEI potato producers to diversify their markets. We will continue to support potato growers as we work to restore trade with the United States.”
-    The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“We recognize this has been a challenging time for PEI potato growers, and the many businesses that support them. Through these investments, the potato sector, and the wider food business ecosystem of PEI, will realize new opportunities to innovate and diversify into new markets, resulting in a more resilient industry.”
-    Heath MacDonald, Member of Parliament for Malpeque

“These investments are a true testament that Government is committed to strengthening and defining our province as Canada’s Food Island. This new facility encourages small businesses to work together to turn their big ideas into reality. The possibilities are endless, with new opportunities to grow, develop and deliver Island products to more markets worldwide.”
-    Honourable Jamie Fox, PEI Minister of Fisheries and Communities

“Central Development Corporation and Central Property Management Inc. are pleased to work with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Innovation PEI, and Food Island Partnership on this historic undertaking to create a food processing incubator in Borden-Carleton, PEI. Only with this dedicated commitment from our federal and provincial governments can we continue with projects that will drive sustainable economic growth in Central PEI.” 
-    Barbara Weeks, Executive Director, Central Development Corporation

“Food manufacturing can be challenging. The scarcity and cost of production space is an obstacle for many food start-ups looking to scale production and grow their food businesses on PEI. Food Works’ multi-tenant food production facility provides low-risk space for food businesses to scale up their business. This has been a gap for food businesses expanding and growing their businesses. We are proud to be working closely with CDC, ACOA, and the province to make this happen.” 
-    Bryan Inglis, CEO, Food Island Partnership

“This has been a difficult time for PEI potato farmers and our industry, because of the US border suspension. Every attempt is being made to avoid destroying good food, and this program will ultimately save some potatoes from destruction. We are grateful and thank ACOA for their support to make this program a reality.”   
-    Greg Donald, General Manager, PEI Potato Board

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is providing a $2 million (non-repayable) investment through the Jobs and Growth Fund, delivered by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), to Central Property Management, Inc. for development of the Food Works Incubator.

  • The Province of PEI is providing $1 million in funding to Central Property Management, Inc. for development of the Food Works Incubator.

  • The Government of Canada is providing a $700,000 (non-repayable) investment through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) to Food Island Partnership to support The PEI Potato Industry Market Diversification and Recovery Plan.

  • The Province of PEI is providing $300,000 in funding to Food Island Partnership to support The PEI Potato Industry Market Diversification and Recovery Plan through the Potato Wart Emergency Contingency Fund.

  • Central Property Management Inc. is a subsidiary arm of Central Development Corporation Ltd. (CDC), an economic development organization which provides programming to support communities and businesses of central PEI.

  • Food Island Partnership is an industry-led organization tasked with growing the food sector through food company and food cluster development on Prince Edward Island. The PEI Potato Board is a member-based industry association representing PEI potato growers. The two organizations will work together to coordinate and implement the PEI Potato Industry Market Diversification and Recovery Plan.

  • The Prince Edward Island potato industry is worth more than $1.3 billion to the Island economy and employs more than 5,000 people.

Associated links


Marianne Blondin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and of the
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mike Critchley
Senior Communications Advisor
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Hillary MacDonald
Department of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture
Senior Communications Officer

Crystal MacGregor
Director of Marketing and Communications
Food Island Partnership

Barbara Weeks, MBA
Executive Director
Central Development Corporation

Kendra Mills
Marketing Director
Prince Edward Island Potato Board

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