Editor: Cavendish Farms president Robert Irving appeared before a provincial legislative standing committee to say he buys more than 50 per cent of all raw potatoes grown on P.E.I. which has an economic impact of $1 billion. However, P.E.I. potatoes no longer meet the stringent consistency and quality demands of the french fry market so does he reduce investment on the Island and start growing elsewhere where there are quality lower-cost potatoes available?
Even if Islanders (non-farmers) agreed to cancel the moratorium on deep-water wells without any restrictions there isn’t any assurance from anyone that Island growers can meet future demands of the French fry Industry so Mr. Irving should bite the bullet now and move on to greener pastures. The demands for french fry quality will only get higher and water is only one component to improve quality. Most potato farmers neglected to invest in better seed and allowed the best tablestock potato in the world to sink to the level of the french fry market. Drilling another 300 deep-water wells isn’t the answer to the problem so begin your search, Mr. Irving.