Greens are asking for $ 4.7 million for Cavendish Farms while other PEI companies offer loans
PEI’s Green MP Michele Beaton asked the government questions in the Legislature Thursday about its strategy to support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beaton asked why the government would give Cavendish Farms $ 4.7 million to help it process potatoes and not provide similar support to small businesses on the island.
“We offered them loans,” Beaton said.
“What was the difference between all these companies and a company worth billions of dollars. Why would they have a free donation of $ 4.7 million? “
Agriculture Minister Bloyce Thompson said he had a different take on the money provided to Cavendish Farms.
“I’m looking at the 180 potato growers who have successfully planted a crop,” said Thompson.
“It ensured that the producers were paid and the potatoes were processed. “
Thompson announced the funding on April 23, claiming at that time the cash would pay for the shipping and storage of the 2019 growing season potatoes “to help alleviate the excess potatoes due market conditions related to COVID-19 “.
A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture and Lands told CBC News that as part of the deal, processor Cavendish Farms agreed to process the 40 million kilograms of potatoes that had no Marlet.
Different point of view
Beaton agreed that she had a different perspective from Thompson.
“Why did this company not intervene and help the farmers from whom it was committed to buy the potatoes, instead of leaving them on the spot,” he said. she declared.
The potato markets have been plunged into turmoil, with demand for French fries declining as restaurants close and demand for table potatoes increasing as more people cook at home. House.
Thompson said he heard the French fries market is recovering and Cavendish Farms may not spend the full $ 4.7 million pledged.
More from CBC PEI