Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

July 14, 2015 10:42 ET

Harper Government Invests to Boost Canadian Potato Exports

FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwired - July 14, 2015) - Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced today an investment of up to $1.4 million for Potatoes New Brunswick to lead a national research effort to help improve potato yields and the export competitiveness of Canadian French fries.

This investment will enable Potatoes New Brunswick to work with other industry partners, Agriculture Canada scientists and universities to identify factors that limit potato yields. On-farm experiments will help overcome these limitations and recommend new tools and technologies to potato farmers across the country.

Quick Facts

  • Potatoes are the country's most widely farmed and consumed vegetable, representing over 30 per cent of all Canadian vegetables produced. The French fry sector buys almost half of Canadian potato production, generating over $708 million in export sales and employing 4,000 Canadians.
  • Potatoes New Brunswick will work with a number of key national partners, including the P.E.I. Potato Board, McCain Foods Ltd., the Manitoba Horticulture Productivity Enhancement Centre, Dalhousie University, the University of Manitoba and the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique in Quebec City.
  • This investment is being made through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's AgriInnovation Program, a five-year, up to $698 million program under the Growing Forward 2 policy framework.
  • Potatoes New Brunswick is a non-profit, producer driven organization incorporated in 2006 that aims to enhance the competitiveness of the province's potato sector.

Quotes

"Potatoes are a staple on family kitchen tables across Canada and around the world, and are a key driver of our economic growth. This research partnership will build future growth by giving processors access to more of the quality Canadian potatoes that give their fries a world-class reputation."

  • Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz

"The stakes for processing potatoes in Canada have never been higher. This funding will allow Canadian potato producers to expedite the process and introduce new technology and best management practices to secure and develop export markets. A national approach allows our industry to pool resources and make a concentrated effort to improve yields, secure grower profitability and increase competitiveness."

  • Shawn Paget, Chair, Potatoes New Brunswick

Additional Links

Contact Information

  • Jeff English
    Director of Communications
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    613-773-1059

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

    Matt Hemphill
    Executive Director of Potatoes New Brunswick
    1-506-473-3036