In January of 1960 a small group of potato and vegetable farmers in the Edmonton, Alberta area decided to try an innovative alternative to conventional produce marketing.
They knew that if they could work together to avoid competing with one another, they could improve their efficiency and be more profitable. They soon formed what would become one of the most respected and efficient potato marketing groups in North America.
In 1968, after nearly a decade of working and marketing their produce together, the group centralized sales and distribution by building a warehouse in west Edmonton near what would be the Yellowhead Trail (HWY 16) and 170 Street (which was a dirt road at the time, not gravel - dirt!).
Centralized sales, marketing, washing, packing and distribution further cemented the idea of cooperation with the next generation of EPG growers and they continued to ship fresh potatoes and other produce into markets in Edmonton and Calgary.
Several growers, unhappy with the quality of seed potatoes they had been receiving from outside sources, began to grow small amounts of Certified seed potatoes at this time. At first it was for their own use or the use of their fellow EPG members but as they gained experience, and as they released small amounts to other commercial growers in Alberta, they became aware of a unique vigor that their seed potatoes possessed due to the climate that they were grown in.
The seed potatoes produced by the Edmonton Potato Growers was absolutely first class. It continued to outperform seed from other areas in North America and consistently rewarded the subsequent growers with excellent yields and increased commercial quality. Expansion of seed sales into southern Alberta, Washington state and beyond further reinforced this level of quality.
A new division within EPG for seed potato production, marketing and distribution was soon established. By 1997, EPG was producing more than 40,000 metric tonnes of Certified seed potatoes of various classes and generations. Marketing areas now include Canada, the United States of America, Mexico, Russia, Thailand, India and mainland China.
The ten members of the Edmonton Potato Growers (1971) Ltd. produce excellent quality seed potatoes with the lowest possible disease levels and the utmost vigor for subsequent crop success. They maintain the same standard as those initially respected by the original members (many of which were the current growers parents or grandparents) nearly 50 years later!