Cavendish Farms Inaugurates New Potato Storage Facility

Cavendish Farms has officially opened its new state-of-the-art potato storage facility in New Annan, Prince Edward Island, Canada. PEI Premier Wade MacLauchlan and Canada Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay joined Cavendish Farms President Robert K. Irving and other company executives for a ceremonial ribbon cutting on October 23.

“This investment in our Prince Edward Island operation will allow us to ensure a quality supply of potatoes year round, and continue providing the best quality frozen potato products to our customers,” said Irving.

Cavendish photoPictured at the ribbon cutting for the new Cavendish Farms potato storage facility in New Annan, Prince Edward Island are, from left to right: Ron Clow, General Manager and Senior Vice President of Cavendish Farms; Robert K. Irving, President of Cavendish Farms; Lawrence MacAulay, Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food; Wade MacLauchlan, Premier of Prince Edward Island; Manuel Becker, Vice President of Corporate Engineering of J.D. Irving, Limited; and Jubs Bristow, Vice President of Agriculture of Cavendish Farms.The 88,000-square-foot facility has a refrigerated potato storage capacity of 48 million pounds. It is made up of two separate 44,000-square-foot buildings equipped with a post-harvest Tolsma-Grisnich storage technology system that maintains consistent quality potatoes for use as needed at Cavendish’s two processing plants on PEI.

Two Green Cool units, imported by the Netherlands, each provide a cooling capacity of 430 kW, with glycol as the refrigerant. The main feature of the indirect cooling system is that the temperature difference across the cooling block is kept as small as possible, which minimizes the extent to which the potatoes dry out.

The storage system comprises four cells and has energy-efficient TTR 9.40 EC fans. Intelligent control of the automatic vision control storage computer allows both the ventilation and the cooling system to be controlled by a single computer, which ensures optimum matching between the two systems.

"As Canada's food island, our province is proud to offer high quality potatoes and frozen potato products that are enjoyed around the world. Cavendish Farms' major investment here will enhance our competitive position and add to our collective prosperity," said Premier MacLauchlan.

“Our government has set an ambitious target to export $75 billion of agri-food products by 2025. Here on the island, our potato farmers will play a key role in achieving this target. With this innovative potato storage facility, our farmers will have more opportunities to sell their products year round, while helping to grow our middle class through good jobs and long-term employment. The impact of this new facility I'm sure will be felt across PEI," said Minister MacAulay.

There have been approximately 60 people working on the site every day since constructing began in May. The vast majority of them are island-based. It is estimated the construction took 120,000 person hours of work.

About Cavendish Farms

A member of the J.D. Irving Group of Companies, Cavendish Farms produces a wide range of frozen potato and appetizer products for the North American and international food industry, supplying customers in the retail and restaurant sectors. It has four potato processing plants – one in Lethbridge, Alberta, and one in Jamestown, North Dakota, USA, in addition to the two facilities on Prince Edward Island. Cavendish Farms also operates a fifth plant specializing in appetizer products in Wheatley, Ontario.