Minister MacAulay meets with the PEI Potato Board
September 8, 2023, Ottawa, Ontario
Today, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, met with staff and representatives of the Prince Edward Island (PEI) Potato Board (the Board).
Meeting with the Board for the first time in his current tenure as the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Minister MacAulay reiterated the importance of working collaboratively together with the Board and all potato growers in PEI in the best interests of the Island’s iconic potato industry which contributes over $1.3 billion to the Island economy.
Following the completion of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) investigation related to the two 2021 detections of potato wart in PEI, the Minister and the CFIA committed to engaging with the industry on next steps. As discussed and welcomed by the Board, this will include criteria for designating Pest Free Places of Production (PFPP) in PEI to support the movement of commodities including seed potatoes off of the island. While over 95% of PEI potatoes continue to remain eligible for export to the rest of Canada and the United States, PEI’s primary export market, the Minister highlighted the importance of working together with growers as they maintain and enhance control measures, such as biosecurity and traceability activities to maintain market access for one of Canada’s critical agricultural sectors.
The CFIA will continue to engage with industry on program elements to renew the National Potato Wart Response Plan and work towards implementation in 2024.
With the Board and industry’s support, a strong long-term plan to help continue to contain, control, and prevent the spread of potato wart will help maintain and improve the economic sustainability of the potato sector in PEI and across Canada and maintain crucial export markets.
Minister MacAulay and the Board all agreed to remain engaged on this important matter.
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
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