$1.6M for P.E.I.'s new 'Canada's Food Island' initiative

A new initiative to promote P.E.I. as "Canada’s Food Island" received federal and provincial funding Thursday.

Food Island Partnership created to promote, assist agriculture and culinary industry

A new initiative to promote P.E.I. as "Canada's Food Island" received federal and provincial funding Thursday.

$1.6 million will be spent over three years on the Food Island Partnership initiative.

"This partnership will help to establish Prince Edward Island as an internationally recognized place of origin for premium food products and a destination for culinary excellence," said Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea.

The Food Island Partnership will team the agricultural sector with the P.E.I.'s growing culinary industry. It will merge two existing organizations, PEI Culinary Alliance and Prince Edward Island Agri-Alliance into one group.

The new organization will be use the tag line "Canada's Food Island" on promotional and tourism materials.

"The more people know about food, the more they have an appreciation for a clean and high quality and beautiful environment that we enjoy here on Prince Edward Island," said Premier Wade MacLauchlan.

"In a broader sense it becomes about culture and creativity because it brings people together and it builds identity and indeed food is a central part of our character as Prince Edward Islanders."

P.E.I. exported about $1 billion in agriculture products in 2014. About 40  per cent of that amount was food products.

Food Island Partnership chair John Rowe said the partnership will help create new businesses and new products to export.

"So the ultimate goal of the Food island Partnership is to assist people at the ground roots level to grow their business and the industry as a whole," said Rowe.

Members of the Food Island Partnership include the potato, dairy and seafood industries, and the Culinary Institute of Canada.

Rowe said a new award program will be launched in a few months to recognize the best new food product of the year.

Presently, 10 per cent of P.E.I's GDP comes from food processing and agriculture. Rowe said that number will serve as one bench mark to measure effectiveness of the partnership in years to come. 


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