19 April 2019 0 Comments Posted By : CBC

From 1981: How much P.E.I. farmland should one company control?

The largest potato processor in P.E.I. wanted to purchase a large amount of farmland, but the provincial government wouldn't let it plow ahead with its plans.

Anchor Knowlton Nash is seen introducing The National's report on Cavendish and the land it was seeking on April 9, 1981. (The National/CBC Archives)

Back in 1981, Cavendish Farms wanted to buy 6,000 acres (2,428 hectares) of farmland. But the Irving Group-owned company needed the approval of the provincial government's cabinet for that to happen.

According to what the CBC's Bob Allison reported, Cavendish said it needed the land it was seeking "to stabilize early season supply" of potatoes for its business.

Farmers on the Island, however, had concerns about seeing that happen.

"It will be the biggest single farming operation on the Island," said Elwood Lawton, who feared Cavendish would be able to control prices if it acquired the farmland it sought.

How would family farms fare?

In 1981, some P.E.I. farmers feared that if Cavendish could shut down its operations if it didn't get the land it was seeking. (The National/CBC Archives)

According to The National's report, Agriculture Minister Prowse Chappell was "a staunch defender of the family farm," but he also had to consider the wishes of farmers who might be interested in selling their farms and retiring.

Allison reported that some farmers feared that if Cavendish didn't get the land it wanted, the company could potentially shut down its operations in the province.

Such an outcome "would leave the family farms intact and the potato industry in shambles," according to Allison.

'Live or die on the family farm'?

Nine months later, a provincial legislative government committee would suggest that no individual should own more than 1,000 acres and no business should have more than 3,000 acres of farmland on the Island.

As The National again reported, there remained concern that Cavendish could decide to move its operations to New Brunswick as a result of the provincial government's view on farmland holdings.

"Prince Edward Island, it seems, intends to live or die on the family farm," the CBC's Michael Vaughan told viewers of The National on Jan. 29 ,1982.

Nearly four decades later, however, Cavendish still has a plant in P.E.I. The company's website indicates that 98 per cent of the farms on the Island are family-run "with many having three generations of experience growing potatoes for Cavendish Farms."

views : 171 | images : 1 | Bookmark and Share

Enter your comment below

Leave a Reply

Most Popular

NewsMore nurses being hired in P.E.I.

Health P.E.I. is recruiting for about 80 permanent and temporary nursing position vacancies. The [...]

28 March 2019

Buzz9 Amazing Health Benefits of Weed You Didn’t Know About!

Modern research shows that cannabis can help to treat a wide range of health problems. But [...]

30 March 2019

LifestylesCan the wrong food give you nightmares?

(Natural News) In the cracks between worlds, beyond the seams of our imagination, the monsters [...]

31 March 2019

LifestylesVitamins that help manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia

(Natural News) Everyday vitamins and minerals take on a whole new level of importance if a pe [...]

20 April 2019

BuzzCannabis cures: are CBD oil's health benefits overhyped?

Hear ye! Hear ye! Weed is (kind of) legal and that means we're due to be inundated wit [...]

30 March 2019