Potato processor to expand production in P.E.I.

A major processor of Prince Edward Island potatoes plans to boost its space in the foodservice market by adding a new production line to make value-added “instant” mashed potato wares.

AgraWest Foods, which operates at Souris, P.E.I., plans to complete its expansion for the new line this fall, the company said in a provincial government release last week.

The company’s current products, now made using a “high-volume, single-line” process, include potato flour and dehydrated potato granules used in instant potatoes, baby foods, snack foods, entrees, breads and pet foods.

“I think we’ll see this company gain market share as a supplier to the foodservice industry and other markets,” Allan Campbell, the provincial minister in charge of Innovation PEI, said in the release.

Innovation PEI, a provincial funding agency focused on economic development, will lend AgraWest $1.37 million for the expansion work.

“We are excited about the expansion and what this will translate into for business growth, new jobs for the Souris community, and overall business stability for our company by the addition of new value-added products,” company CEO Wally Browning said in the province’s release.

The new production line by itself is expected to employ four people and also create further work in the company’s packaging and shipping areas, the province said.

AgraWest, owned by U.S. dehydrated potato processor Idaho Pacific since 2000, is “considered to be the most modern granule operation in North America,” the parent company says on its website.

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