Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, issued a statement regarding the announcement that the United States will soon resume imports of Prince Edward Island (PEI) table stock potatoes into the continental U.S. with reasonable science-based conditions.
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“Today’s [March 24] news is important for PEI potato growers. I know the last few months have been incredibly difficult for potato farmers, producers, and everyone on the Island. This reopening comes at a critical time for the industry.
"Potato exports are essential for the livelihoods of so many Islanders, and I am confident that this decision by the U.S. will give farmers the predictability and assurances they need for the next potato growing season.
"The United States Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) has completed their pest risk analysis and concluded, like Canada, that the trade of PEI table stock potatoes can be done safely. This U.S. decision follows the successful re-opening of the Puerto Rican market on February 9, 2022.
"The Government of Canada appreciates the U.S.’s ongoing technical collaboration in resolving this issue based on science, which highlights the importance of our bilateral collaboration. Open, predictable, science-based international trade is essential for Canadian businesses and provides stability for our producers and international partners.
"The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will work in collaboration with industry to implement the new export requirements for the U.S. in short order.
"The Government of Canada has unwavering confidence that the trade of PEI potatoes is safe. This is welcome news, as table stock potatoes represent the biggest proportion of PEI’s exports of fresh potatoes to the U.S.
We will continue to take a Team Canada approach to ensure continued confidence in the safety of PEI potatoes. As part of these efforts the CFIA is completing the ongoing investigations in PEI and technical work to provide USDA APHIS with the necessary, science-based assurances in order to fully restore the trade.” ■