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Yes, we grow great food and offer top-notch hospitality, enjoy a rich and diverse culture, but our economic health also depends on a stable and diverse manufacturing sector that produces high-quality goods for local and foreign markets. Island manufacturers produce a wide range of goods such as Paderno stainless steel cookware, Hall and Stewart marine propellers, high fashion optical frames, Tannereye leather giftware, Great Northern Knitters woolen sweaters, and MacAusland blankets. Many other Island companies produce computer components and software, fertilizers, metal products, musical instruments, cosmetics and bath products, pharmaceuticals, boats, wood products, and craft items such as pottery, candles, stained glass, toys, and textiles.

For the period from January to July 1998 alone, the value of all manufacturing shipments was $513.3 million. Manufacturing shipments are made up primarily of food industry products, valued at $343.8 million. The remainder of shipments included, in order of importance, transportation equipment, “other manufactured goods,” chemical products, wood industries, printing and publishing, and fabricated metals. Compared to the same period in the previous year, transportation equipment shipments increased by 39.3 percent and chemical products increased by 18.9 percent. During the first seven months of 1998, exports of goods to foreign countries represented $247.2 million. This represents an increase of 46 percent over the same period in 1997. Much of this growth is due to the doubling of processed food exports.

SheepMacAusland’s Woolen Mills is a family-owned-and-operated business that began in 1870 as a grist, roll, and sawmill. In 1932, the company started making woolen yarns and blankets. Originally, the MacAuslands bought wool from local Island farmers, but soon began purchasing raw material from across Canada and the United States. MacAusland’s yarn and blankets are sold in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Ontario, and the United States.

Founded in 1970 by Dr. J. Regis Duffy, Diagnostic Chemicals Ltd. (DCL) manufactures specialty chemicals, enzymes, and diagnostic kits. DCL’s research and manufacturing activities are based at its Charlottetown headquarters with additional sales and marketing handled by Diagnostics Chemicalssubsidiary companies in Mexico and the United States. The diagnostic test products produced by DCL are used in human and veterinary health care markets. The company supplies products for pharmaceutical and health research markets in countries as far away as China; Canadian sales account for only 20 percent of the company’s market. DCL has over 100 employees and more than 150 active products.

Cavendish Figurines is Canada’s only manufacturer of fine earthenware “Anne of Green Gables” figurines. The company, with its employee complement of 15, produces a series of eight figurines that tell the story of “Anne” as well as a collection called Cavendish Characters. Their facility at Borden-Carleton’s Gateway Village offers guided tours and information about the production process.

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