As of Friday, April 1 table stock potato exports from Prince Edward Island are able to be exported to the United States again, a news release from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) says. The release notes P.E.I. seed potatoes are still unable to be exported to the U.S.
A week earlier on March 24, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced exports would resume soon following a months long closure. Since November, potato exports to the U.S. and Puerto Rico from P.E.I. were halted after potato wart was discovered for the second year in a row on the Island. Potato exports to Puerto Rico resumed on Feb. 8.
The CFIA release notes their staff worked tirelessly for several months to provide the scientific evidence the U.S. requested and to reassure them P.E.I. potatoes for consumption were safe for trade.
Exports are now resumed with the following conditions:
- Potatoes for export and seed potatoes used to produce them must originate from fields not known to be infested with potato wart or associated with known infestations.
- Potatoes must be washed in P.E.I. to remove soil, treated with a sprout inhibitor, and graded to meet the U.S. No 1 standard (equivalent to Canada No 1).
- Shipments must be officially inspected and certified as meeting USDA requirements.
- All potato shipments must have traceability from the production site, to packing, to export, allowing a full trace-back and recall.
- Potatoes must be treated with a sprout inhibitor that is registered with Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency and consignments must be accompanied by a statement on the export documentation detailing the treatment.
- Potatoes must be free of soil upon inspection at the port of entry.
The release says the CFIA is preparing to certify exports to the U.S. as quickly as possible.