After five months of planning, strawberry growers on Prince Edward Island are officially banding together to better market their goods and protect their crops against a new mutant virus.

Arny Nabuurs, president of the newly-formed P.E.I. Strawberry Growers Association, said crops on the Island are dealing with a new virus and berry-eating insect that might impact production.

By working together, he said growers have a better shot at a bumper year.

"We definitely want to sit around the table and compare notes, and what works for one guy and what works for another guy can be used in common with the whole group. I think if we can succeed in working together on that basis then we'll all be better off for it," he said.

Nabuurs also said Island growers plan to work with their counterparts across Canada to strengthen the marketing of Canadian strawberries as an industry.

He said a national marketing agency is still more than two years away.

There hasn't been an organization for strawberry growers on P.E.I. for more than 15 years.