THE “Spudpocalypse” is here, according to an ad campaign warning of impending potato shortages.
A Canadian group called PEI Potato Board launched an aggressive campaign targeting Massachusetts shoppers in response to the US Department of Agriculture’s shutdown. potato shipment from a Canadian island.
Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province known for potatoes – potato crops bring in $1.3 billion a year.
According to Greg Donald, the island’s general manager of potato management, island farmers ship between 250 million and 300 million pounds of potatoes to the United States each year.
In the past, Massachusetts was America’s second-largest market for potatoes, but a Canadian government export ban in November brought the potato pipeline to a sudden halt due to an outbreak of a disease called potato wart.
But according to campaignpotatoes are perfectly fine – the group even goes as far as to say that “potato producers in Canada are being forced to destroy potatoes intended for the American table.”
The ad campaign is called Stop the Spudpocalypse and the team is using various social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to warn Americans about empty store shelves and inflated prices.
The campaign’s website encourages visitors to send an email to Agricultural Security Tom Vilsack asked him to allow potato shipments from Canada to enter the US again.
However, potato plantar disease is a dangerous disease for the agricultural economy.
The soil pest produces cauliflower-like sores and growths on potatoes, although poses no threat to humans other than destroying crops and the economy.
The reduced supply of potatoes is the result of avoiding potato warts, hence the “Spudpocalypse”.
Kendra Mills, marketing director at PEI Potato Board, says that the use of the seemingly silly term is intentional and it signals a major shortage.
“That speaks volumes and the magnitude of the problem,” says Mills. “We feed 9 million Americans every year.”
“We ship 300 million pounds of potatoes to the US every year, and that’s a hard number for people to really understand.”
The USDA announced Tuesday that PEI may resume potato exports to Puerto Rico on Wednesday, but the situation in Massachusetts and the rest of the country remains the same.
“We are very hopeful that we will soon see the market reopening through the United States for the potatoes on the table,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Agriculture Minister of Canada.
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/17592926/spudpocalypse-potato-shortage-canada-massachusetts/ ‘Spudpocalypse’ sparks potato shortage across US as disease and supply chain problems wreak havoc on spuds