Canadian potato industry looks for improvement - The Packer

Canadian potato industry looks for improvement

03/14/2013 05:11:00 PM
Tom Karst

The Canadian potato industry hopes to reverse declining fresh potato consumption, perhaps with a new national marketing campaign or moves to limit acreage by cooperative effort.

Members of the potato industry will meet April 3-4 in Toronto. Kendra Mills, board marketing director for the Prince Edward Island Potato Board.

North American potato growers are facing prices significantly below last year and are at levels some industry leaders in Canada have said are below the cost of production.

“We are all coming together to identify where we are at,” Mills said.

An announcement from the group could be issued the week after the meetings, she said, but there’s no definite solutions determined yet.

Canada doesn’t have a national marketing organization for potatoes, but as with sister organizations in the U.S., the United Potato Growers of Canada focuses on production and demand to increase returns for growers.

“We’re not really sitting with any particular group just yet, we’re kind of unofficially with the Canadian Horticultural Council,” she said.

Mills said a mechanism or funding for a national promotional effort has not been identified yet.

“It’s a good sign that everybody is willing and ready to come to the table to work on this issue together,” she said.

Late last year, the Canadian Potato Council issued a paper about the challenges the industry is facing, including declining fresh consumption and regulatory burdens.



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