P.E.I. potato industry in limbo as Canada suspends shipments to U.S. following wart discovery

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Millions of pounds of potatoes are effectively 'not going anywhere' for one Prince Edward Island farmer following a recent decision by the federal government to suspend shipments of all fresh potatoes from the province to the United States.

NORTH BAY -- Millions of pounds of potatoes are effectively "not going anywhere" for one Prince Edward Island farmer following a recent decision by the federal government to suspend shipments of all fresh potatoes from the province to the United States.

"The reality is it's going to take all parties to get this resolved, both Canadian and U.S.," Keenan told CTV's Your Morning on Wednesday.Federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau signed aSunday restricting the movement of seed potatoes from P.E.I. The CFIA also has temporarily suspended trade of fresh potatoes from P.E.I. to the U.S.

At the same time, however, Keenan said this is putting "chaos" into a supply chain that is "very joined at the hip" with the United States.The U.S. market represents an annual value of $120 million, theThe board said since the discovery of potato wart on the island in 2000, there has not been a single incidence in any markets — Canada or the U.S. — tied to P.E.I. potatoes.

The federal government has highlighted support programs available for P.E.I. potato growers impacted by the suspension, while the provincial government recently announced a $10-million contingency fund.

Source: News Formal (newsformal.com)


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