Events, North America, Trends

U.S. border closure, high input costs weighing heavy on Prince Edward Island potato industry

“Ominous” is the word that Trent Cousins uses to describe the mood in the potato industry these days on Prince Edward Island. He’s co-owner of Allan Equipment Manufacturing in Covehead, Prince Edward Island, and his company had big, expensive equipment on display at this year’s International Potato Technology Expo that took place this Wednesday and Thursday in Charlottetown.

As Nancy Russell reports for CBC News, the event has been held every two years for the last two decades, and usually there would be sales made at the event. This year, the uncertainty caused by the closure of the U.S. border last fall, and millions of dollars of lost sales that followed, are weighing on the minds of many.

“There is a bit of an ominous feel in the industry,” Cousins said. “Not only with the border closure, and all of the science and politics around that, but also the volatility in the world markets.”

The P.E.I. Bag Company is a regular exhibitor at the potato expo, and general manager Thane Smallwood said it has also been a challenging last four months for them. “Certainly the U.S. ban impacted us absolutely immediately, and continues to this day, until we see that first load of potatoes going across the U.S. border.”

Source: CBC News. Read the full story here
Photo: Trent Cousins, co-owner of Allan Equipment Manufacturing. Credit: Kirk Pennell/CBC

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