PE Ledger

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Buyers of potatoes were treated to a virtual reality tour of Prince Edward Island

‘We wanted to figure out a way to get the farms and Prince Edward Island to the retailers,’ says the company.

The P.E.I is using virtual reality. Potato Board to remind buyers of the benefits of buying potatoes from the Island.

Many significant national businesses across Canada and certain regional retailers in Canada and the United States have received a dozen virtual reality kits, which include high-tech goggles. Thirty per cent of P.E.I.’s potatoes are sold fresh, either in retail or the foodservice industry.

“This project was in response to a problem that COVID had presented to us, which was that many of the merchants that come to Prince Edward Island for trade trips, market visits, and farm visits were unable to travel,” said Kendra Mills, the marketing director for the board.

“We wanted to figure out a method to bring the farmers and Prince Edward Island directly to the retailers.”

The goggles, according to Mills, are filled with videos demonstrating the growth, harvesting, and shipment of potatoes, as well as other potato-related Island goods.

“The technology is just remarkable,” Mills added, “and it immerses the viewer right into the video.”

“We took videos from equipment, in the fields, on farms, and in warehouses, putting the viewer right in the middle of the action. It’s very remarkable.”

Behind the scenes

Along with his father Marvyn and brother Bradley, Chad Robertson farms potatoes for Marvyn’s Garden on eastern Prince Edward Island.

Earlier this month, he had the chance to try out the virtual reality goggles.

“It’s absolutely something neat to demonstrate to your buyers who wouldn’t ordinarily get the opportunity to come along for a tractor ride or see how the potatoes get to market,” said Robertson, who chairs the board’s fresh potato marketing committee.

Face-to-face hard to replace

Robertson stated that, as excellent as the videos are, he hopes the customers would return to P.E.I.

“It’s all about the face-to-face interaction. Nothing will always be able to replace that, “According to Robertson. “This is absolutely a useful tool that arrived at the right moment.”

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