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Two potato companies get funding boost from feds

A potato processor in Souris, P.E.I., is getting a $500,000 loan and a potato farm in western P.E.I. is getting $400,000 loan from the federal government to help expand their respective businesses.

East Point Potato in Souris says the repayable contribution from Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) will help the company purchase equipment to increase productivity and respond to an ever-changing market.

“As a growing rural P.E.I. business whose goal is to add value to our primary produce and to provide employment to rural Islanders, we are pleased that our federal government is working with us in achieving our goal,” says company president Boyd Rose. Shareholders of East Point Potato come from sixth generation potato farms that pack their own potatoes as well as product from farms in the surrounding region. The company exports to retail and food service clients across the country.

Meanwhile, Mid-Isle Farms in western P.E.I. says the money will enable it to carry out necessary upgrades to its current production facility. In order to grow its export sales, the company says it will invest in additional bagging and bailing equipment to meet demand during its highest peaks.

“We are proud to say that after 35 years, all seven families are still investing in the business, and our local community, to see it continue to prosper,” says Rick Burt, CEO of Mid-Isle Farms. “This investment will enable Mid-Isle Farms continue to expand its FoodTrust brand even further into the marketplace.”

Both loans were funded through the ACOA’s  Business Development Program (BDP). The BDP helps set up, expand or modernize businesses. It can also provide funding to develop innovative ideas, improve competitiveness,and develop clean technology projects. Focusing on small- and medium- sized enterprises, this program offers repayable assistance. Non-profit organizations providing support to the business community may also qualify.

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