Prince Edward Island potato growers are still feeling the impact of lost commerce, one year after a four-month ban of table potato shipments to the US began.
Canada stopped these exports to the US on November 21, 2021. Shipments resumed in April 2022, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave Island farms the all-clear. But for farmers like Andrew Smith, the loss of long-term customers in the United States has had lasting consequences.
Smith said he lost a contract with a large US company that changed suppliers during the export ban, adding that he’s worried by renewed lobbying efforts from the US-based National Potato Council, which is calling for more stringent packing requirements for P.E.I. exports.
The limits placed on the export of P.E.I.’s most valuable crop is estimated to have cost the industry more than $50 million in revenue and forced farmers to destroy 250 million pounds of potatoes, according to the P.E.I. Potato Board.