To many people the fresh potato is a staple in their grocery carts and their pantries. Often we look to this diverse staple to make a healthy centerpiece to any meal or the perfect side to a family meal.
In Canada, potatoes are the most widely grown vegetable. Alberta typically has around 50,000acres of potatoes planted which usually puts Alberta in the top 3 position for planted acres of potatoes within Canada. The lion’s shares of those acres are grown in Southern Alberta to supply the processing plants with the balance supplying the seed and fresh potato industry.
How do my Potatoes get to the store shelf?
Although you can find fresh new potatoes in the farmers markets in July, the potatoes that are found in the grocery stores usually come from larger scale producers and packers like EPG. Our potatoes will usually be ready for harvest in early September. Most commercially produced potatoes need a 90-120+ day growing season to mature.
Once the crop has matured, the potato vines must be desiccated to promote a mature skin set to allow for good storage and an appealing looking potato after harvest. In Alberta, a full ‘skin set’ can take 3 weeks or more. Once the skin has set, the grower moves into the field with specialized equipment to gently harvest the crop and put it into sophisticated long term controlled environment storage. Modern storages are capable of storing potatoes for almost a full year if needed but practically, the storage period is much shorter than that.
As required throughout the storage season, potatoes grown for EPG will be transferred to our 50,000 sq foot production facility. Once here potatoes are washed, sorted for size and quality, and packaged on our computerized packaging equipment by order from the retail grocery stores distribution warehouses. We strive to keep the time from storage to store shelf as short as possible by working closely with the wholesale distributors to schedule multiple deliveries a week to allow for the longest possible shelf life.
Look for the ‘Canada Goose’ and ‘Colomba’ brand in a grocery store near you.