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Prince Edward Island buys potatoes from Alberta

Transport costs more than cargo itself

An eight percent decline in potato production, coupled with a growing demand, forced Prince Edward Island processing plants to buy potatoes from Alberta. They will likely seek supplies from south of the border as well. Foreigners might find this news unremarkable, but Canadians know that possibly a record is being set, now french fry plants on Prince Edward Island are shipping in potatoes. The distance these potatoes have to travel is not to be sneezed at; we’re talking about some 4,575 km. reported Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of United Potato Growers of Canada, saying: “They are being shipped by rail and off loaded in Moncton… The freight is almost worth more than the potatoes.” 

The processing plants in P.E.I. are paying the freight because the island is short of potatoes. The western half of the province didn’t get enough rain during the growing season, and the arid conditions cut into the yield. P.E.I. produced 2.37 million tonnes of potatoes, down 8 percent -or 200.000 tonnes- from 2016.

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