Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

June 22, 2015 11:13 ET

Harper Government Invests In Potato Safety

CHARLOTTETOWN, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND--(Marketwired - June 22, 2015) - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Regional Minister for Prince Edward Island and Member of Parliament for Egmont, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced today that the Harper Government is investing $1.5 million to support the P.E.I. potato industry in addressing recent challenges with tampered potatoes.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will work with the P.E.I. Potato Board to assist producers, packing sheds and processors to enhance their efforts to detect and remove foreign material from potatoes. These funds will enable P.E.I.'s potato farmers to acquire and install equipment to detect and remove foreign material.

Quick Facts

  • The federal government is committed to supporting the industry maintain the confidence of consumers, processors, retailers and food-service buyers.
  • Today's federal investment is in addition to the recently provided $1.4 million cost-shared initiative committed by the federal and provincial governments under Growing Forward 2.
  • As tampering is a criminal offense, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is leading the investigation into the instances where foreign objects were found in harvested potatoes. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has been supporting this ongoing investigation.

Quote

"P.E.I.'s potato industry plays an important role in our Island's economy. Our Government recognizes the financial burden on farmers, packers and the overall industry this unlawful activity has created and we are pleased to respond with significant financial assistance toward the purchase of metal detection equipment. We will continue to work closely with industry on strategies and initiatives to help potato producers and industry maintain consumer confidence."

  • The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Regional Minister for Prince Edward Island and Member of Parliament for Egmont

"The production of safe, high quality potatoes has always been our top priority, and our farms have a high level of enrolment in the CanadaGAP food safety program. The PEI Potato Board is working with the Government of Canada and the Province of Prince Edward Island to ensure the right strategies and technology are in place to help our farmers address the challenge posed by the criminal act of food tampering."

  • Alex Docherty, Chair of the Prince Edward Island Potato Board

Additional links

AAFC Programs and Services

P.E.I. Potato Board

Contact Information

  • Sophie Doucet
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable Gail Shea
    613-992-3474

    Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    613-773-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    Follow us on Twitter: @AAFC_Canada

    Ryan Barrett
    Ryan Barrett
    PEI Potato Board,
    Charlottetown, PEI
    (902) 892-6551
    ryan@peipotato.org