March 6, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - A trade mission involving 10 New Brunswick seed potato exporters and industry people will be in Cuba from March 8-13. Agriculture and Aquaculture Minister Ronald Ouellette will lead the mission.
"The objective of this mission is to followup on New Brunswick seed potato export sales and on variety trial evaluations, with the primary goal of increasing our share of the Cuban seed potato market," Ouellette said. "We will also take the opportunity to meet with government and industry officials in preparation for seed-potato-export contract negotiations scheduled to take place in New Brunswick in 2009, as well as study other possible business opportunities in Cuba."
New Brunswick has supplied quality seed potatoes to Cuba for more than 80 years. The Cuban importation of seed potatoes from the province in 2008 was about 13,710 metric tonnes, worth over $5 million, which showed an increase of 3,000 metric tonnes over the previous year. At the same time, 33 seed potato varieties were sent to Cuba for evaluation of their adaptability to Cuban growing conditions.
New Brunswick is known nationally and internationally for the development, production and export of world-class seed potatoes. The province was Canada's second-largest exporter of seed potatoes in 2008, with 27,362 metric tonnes worth close to $10 million. Its two main markets were the United States and Cuba.
MEDIA CONTACT: Benoît Locas, communications, Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture, 506-462-5042.