P.E.I. potatoes to resume moving to Puerto Rico

The Canadian government announced Tuesday, February 8, 2022, that table potatoes from Prince Edward Island would begin moving into Puerto Rico beginning today, February 9.

Potato movement from the island province to the U.S. and even other provinces has been on hold since late November, 2021, after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) stopped exports due to pressure by the U.S. regarding potato wart fungus finding earlier in the year.

At this time, approval for potato movement applies to Puerto Rico only, not the continental U.S. The American territory is a major buyer of P.E.I potatoes.

The U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is combing through added data provided by CFIA ahead of schedule; the additional monitoring and survey data was requested by APHIS ahead of allowing both processing and table potatoes across the border.

Also at issue are seed stock potatoes from P.E.I — movement of which out the province was also suspended in November.

Potatoes are a perishable crop and a year’s harvest is usually sold before May or June of a new growing season. Without a market, the government did provide funding to cover moving P.E.I potatoes to food banks and other domestic markets.