Leading potato company building research lab in P.E.I.

Date:2011-08-30lile  Text Size:

A leading company specializing in developing high quality spuds is securing its roots in P.E.I. for the long haul.

HZPC Americas Corporation, which has been operating in the province for the past six years, is now setting up a research and development facility on the BioCommons Research Park.

The facility, slated for completion by early next year, will help the company expand its reach within the potato market.

“We are really committed to stay over here in P.E.I. and P.E.I. will be the centre...for the whole of North America,’’ said Fred Koops, the company’s general manager.

HZPC Americas Corporation is part of the HZPC Group — an internationally operating company active in the potato market that was established more than 100 years ago and known on a global basis for excellence in the seed and table potato markets.

Koops said the varieties of potatoes developed by HZPC always have an advantage in yield, presentation or disease resistance. The company has developed many varieties that are well known to the P.E.I. industry including Innovator, Fabula and Vivaldi.

“To become competitive in the potato industry, you need innovation,’’ said Koops.

Agriculture Minister George Webster said his government is delighted the company is creating its own infrastructure in the BioCommons.

“The potato industry is vital to our economy and HZPC can help us become more innovative in this important sector,’’ said Webster.

HZPC has developed a research and development program to develop better seed potato varieties that allows HZPC to serve customers with potato varieties that will meet current and future market challenges.

The province is providing $126,000 to support the company’s research and development work.

The facility is expected to create up to four full time positions with possible further growth depending on the success in research and development.

“HZPC has a long track record of bringing innovation and quality to the potato industry,’’ said Koops.

“With Prince Edward Island’s reputation for excellence in potato production and the province’s strong bioscience industry, it was a natural to look at the Island as a place to expand our operations.’’

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