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When 'state-of-the-art' potato packing came to O'Leary, P.E.I.

The opening of a new potato plant in P.E.I. was making the news in the fall of 1987.

Local potato farmers bought shares in plant that would create jobs and help move their produce

In 1987, Ian Petrie reports on a new potato-washing plant that was set to open in P.E.I. 1:51

Midday had our attention at the mention of a "state-of-the-art potato washing plant."

Thirty-two years ago, the news program aired a report on the Green Acres Produce wash plant set to open near O'Leary, P.E.I., which was then expected to employ 40 people.

"It will separate potatoes into specific sizes, [and] wash and box them for restaurants in Ontario, Quebec and the United States," reporter Ian Petrie told viewers in the report that aired on Midday on Sept. 16, 1987.

Petrie explained that about 30 local potato farmers had bought shares in the plant.

The project had also received assistance from the provincial and federal governments, which was critical to getting the plant built.

The Green Arcres plant in O'Leary, P.E.I., was expected to employ 40 people once it was open. (Midday/CBC Archives)

"Potato farmers generally don't have a lot of money to throw around," Petrie explained.

The farmers' ownership of the plant was short-lived, however, as, according to press reports, it was acquired by Cavendish Farms just a few years later.

The plant's packaging operations were shut down last year, though Cavendish said it intended to keep using the facility for storage purposes.