P.E.I., Puerto Rico lobby for export of potatoes to resume

P.E.I. potato growers and politicians are lobbying for the export of fresh potatoes to Puerto Rico to renew, despite the current export ban to the U.s.a. imposed by way of Canada’s agriculture minister.

The P.E.I. Potato Board says the Island ships $18-$20 million value of potatoes to the U.S. territory in a standard production yr. In 2020, sales to Puerto Rico accounted for about 25 according to cent of the province’s sales to the U.S. 

Executive director Greg Donald stated the board helps allowing potatoes to proceed to be exported to Puerto Rico from P.E.I.

“We consider there is no cause for the suspension of P.E.I. potatoes to all the U.S.,” Donald mentioned. “Having said that, we see it as a very easy first step that are supposed to have came about via this week already.”

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‘Fantastic market’

Bill Enserink of Pink Isle Produce in Charlottetown mentioned sales to Puerto Rico account for 20 to 25 consistent with cent of his corporate’s general gross sales to the U.S.

He mentioned if the border closure relies on fighting the unfold of potato wart, that is not a subject matter for Puerto Rico.

P.E.I., Puerto Rico lobby for export of potatoes to resume

Invoice Enserink, of Pink Isle Produce in Charlottetown, said Puerto Rico makes up 20 to twenty-five consistent with cent of his company’s annual sales to the United States. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

“There Is 0 risk. there’s no potato-rising spaces in Puerto Rico. it is a separate island — the risk to the continental U.S.A. is zero,” Enserink mentioned. 

“If it was a technological know-how-based totally resolution, there can be absolutely no the reason is, we couldn’t ship to Puerto Rico …other folks assume it’s a small Caribbean island, but they eat so much of P.E.I. potatoes. it is a implausible market.” 

P.E.I., Puerto Rico lobby for export of potatoes to resume

The P.E.I. Potato Board says the Island ships among $18 million and $20 million value of potatoes to Puerto Rico every year. (Submitted via Caribbean Produce )

Brian Ching of Russell Ching Ltd. in Souris, P.E.I., consents that resuming exports to Puerto Rico is sensible. 

“Puerto Rico is what I call the low-placing fruit. they do not grow potatoes there. They consume so much of potatoes there,” Ching stated.

“i’d think if the border got opened to Puerto Rico first, if that is conceivable, it can be an excellent get started and it will show that the Americans are no less than bargaining in good faith and they are prepared to move slightly.” 

Political lobbying

International Industry Minister Mary Ng was once in Washington Thursday and met with Jenniffer González Colón, the resident commissioner of Puerto Rico, to speak about industry problems, together with P.E.I. potato exports.

A spokesperson for Ng mentioned the problem has been raised a few occasions in this commute.

P.E.I., Puerto Rico lobby for export of potatoes to resume

International Industry Minister Mary Ng, centre, was once in Washington on Thursday and met with Jenniffer González Colón, proper, the resident commissioner of Puerto Rico to discuss industry issues, together with P.E.I. potato exports. (Jenniffer González/Twitter)

P.E.I. Agriculture Minister Bloyce Thompson was in Ottawa along with officials from P.E.I.’s Potato Board on Thursday to talk about the potato wart situation with federal officials, including Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau.

Thompson additionally raised the issue of resuming business with Puerto Rico. 

“i really had a decision this morning with my counterpart in Puerto Rico, the Secretary Gonzalez,” Thompson stated. “They Want our product and so they want our product, and so that is what we’re coping with at the moment.” 

P.E.I., Puerto Rico lobby for export of potatoes to resume

P.E.I. Agriculture Minister Bloyce Thompson, proper, mentioned it has been per week of ‘extremely difficult visits’ with Island potato farmers. (Bloyce Thompson/Twitter)

Fear about rising value

Angel Santiago, president and CEO of Caribbean Produce in San Juan, Puerto Rico, said his corporate has been doing business with P.E.I. for more than 30 years, and imports approximately $4 million price of Island potatoes every year.

He Is worried concerning the have an effect on of the export ban on consumers.

“within the closing years, decades, P.E.I. were the principal potato ate up in Puerto Rico — a minimum of, I’ll say, 80 consistent with cent what we call the medium russet potato, in a five-pound-bag structure,” Santiago mentioned. 

“The export ban will impact availability of your product, and doubtless also have an effect on the pricing on that product for the patrons.”

P.E.I., Puerto Rico lobby for export of potatoes to resume

Angel Santiago of Caribbean Produce within the company’s warehouse in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He says the company has been doing trade with P.E.I. for more than 30 years. (Joe Colon, Studio Inc.2016.)

Santiago stated the associated fee of potatoes will increase without P.E.I. potatoes, because of larger transportation prices. 

“there may be a weekly ship that comes in and out basically direct from P.E.I., from Halifax to San Juan,” Santiago mentioned. “it’s a very consistent carrier.” in the event that they don’t get potatoes from P.E.I., then they will have to ship them in from Quebec or New Brunswick, which increases the price, he said. 

P.E.I., Puerto Rico lobby for export of potatoes to resume

Santiago said the cost of potatoes increases without P.E.I. potatoes, as a result of larger transportation costs. (Submitted through Bill Enserink )

No possibility 

Santiago mentioned as a result of Puerto Rico does not develop potatoes, he concurs it is secure to proceed to import P.E.I. potatoes. 

“It may not have an effect on our potato plants because we don’t have potato plants in Puerto Rico,” Santiago mentioned.

“I Will ask for a revision or reconsideration, if there is a possibility, do that, a minimum of for Puerto Rico, because we have not were given the issue. We Are following the entire protocols — USDA protocols, our personal protocols.”

P.E.I., Puerto Rico lobby for export of potatoes to resume

Angel Santiago of Caribbean Produce in San Juan stated as a result of Puerto Rico does not grow potatoes, he believes it’s safe to continue to import P.E.I. potatoes. (Shane Hennessey/CBC )

Santiago said he will be attaining out to politicians in Puerto Rico, asking them to make the case for resuming exports from P.E.I., each for his company and the people he does business with on the Island.

“i’ve been to P.E.I. We Now Have been there for lots of years now. And for me, trade, it’s private,” Santiago stated. “we now have a private courting with Purple Isle. now we have an individual relationship with different growers.”

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