PE Ledger

First truckloads of P.E.I. potatoes reach American markets


Key takeaways: 

  • U.S. customer Potato Board hopes numbers of return to pre-closure levels by next week.
  • Large totes of potatoes are packed on a truck Monday to be sent by Red Isle Produce to a buyer in the Boston region, one of the first loads to leave the Island after the border reopened.

P.E.I. potatoes are moving down the highway to the United States once again, with the first truckloads coming into the Boston area Tuesday morning.

Exporters started packing their trucks on Monday, three days after the U.S. Department of Agriculture declared the potatoes would be allowed south of the border and four months after the prohibition was first set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

The P.E.I. Potato Board, which follows trucks headed to the U.S., reported eight trucks heading south on Monday, nine on Tuesday, and 17 on Wednesday.

“We’re pleased even to have trucks going across the border,” the board’s general manager, Greg Donald, stated.

“Market is strong. They require our potatoes.”

Also read: How P.E.I. picks the roads to repair

P.E.I. potatoes are moving down the highway to the United States once again

Donald said he’s been hearing that pre-departure checks by the CFIA are going well and that trucks are crossing quickly at the U.S. border with no holds.

“It’s been hushed, no problems, and that says that everything is in order the way it should be,” he said.

“I know CFIA has made sure that they’ve had the good resources on P.E.I. to look after things at the shipping end, and according to the shippers and the truck drivers that have been going past the border, everything’s been done quite well.”

Donald said the number of trucks is presently less than half of what the board saw last fall, but he hopes to ramp up fast.

“The border just opened on Friday, so it takes time for our clients to switch, place orders, and get things managed,” he stated.

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