North America, Seed, Trade/Markets/Prices, Trends

The need to go offshore: Building momentum for Canadian potatoes internationally

Image result for load potatoes boat harbour containerAs domestic potato consumption slows but production continues to grow, finding lucrative export markets for Canada’s fresh, frozen and seed potatoes is a vital and increasing priority, according to Kirby Sawatsky, Director of Parkland Seed Potatoes, based in Canada’s Alberta province. The vast majority of Canada’s potato exports – approximately 91 per cent of our fresh potato exports and 84 per cent of our seed potato exports in 2015/2016 – travel south to U.S. customers, Sawatsky writes in the latest issue of Spud Smart magazine. To date, bilateral trade agreements are keeping this trade route smooth. However, current NAFTA talks are an important reminder that we need to constantly up our export game. In addition to reviewing and refining standards, protocols and paperwork to promote continued export ease to the U.S., the Canadian potato industry needs to actively build offshore markets. There is room to grow in all key existing markets internationally, and Canadian producers hope to soon enjoy opportunities in the Mexican marketplace. More

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