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Spudly Words: Quotes worth remembering from recent potato news reports

Dear PNT readers: During my daily (and often nightly) online searches to find sensible breaking news items to share with you here, I oftentimes come across sayings and words of such sheer eloquence and relevance to a specific topic at hand that I believe these should be highlighted or underscored and repeated in some way or another. This article lists a handful of these quotations – and is my humble effort in doing just that. And since the COVID-19 crisis overshadows the news media at this time, all of the quotes below will be related to this reality all of us are confronted with currently. I realize that many of you have read the news items from where I extracted the few quotes below, but as I said – sometimes it can’t harm to be reminded…
If this kind of article works for you, please let me know and I will do so again in future? And thank you for reading…


It will be a concern to their bottom line, it will affect their operations, it will affect their families. It’s a very stressful time. We’ve constantly said Canada has got a safe food supply chain. …We do. But when a producer is stuck with raw product because of the situation, it will directly affect consumers in the long run.

Terence Hochstein, Potato Growers of Alberta Executive Director, on how the potato crisis due to COVID-19 is affecting potato growers in Southern Alberta on a personal level.
Potato surplus and halted processing impacts new Alberta crops

This is the first time in recent history that processors have to back down on contracts. It was always growers who was in a predicament to supply contracted volume and quality during years when yields were down. The world is upside down.

The North-western European Potato Growers (NEPG) on the current potato situation and outlook in Europe.
‘The European potato world is upside down’: NEPG paints a dark picture of the current and future European situation

This is very welcome news… Given the size of the crisis involving potatoes, this purchase is a partial down payment on the industry’s overall relief needs and more will be needed. In the short term, the announcement is very positive in that it provides clarity on the immediate relief efforts and gives family farms hope for more to come.

Britt Raybould, NPC President, on the announcement that USDA will buy $50 million worth of potatoes.
Breakthrough: US potato industry welcomes $50 million USDA purchase of potatoes

We’re afraid there’s still going to be potatoes in storage when we go to dig up this year’s crop in September. These are good potatoes. We don’t want to throw them away. It’s just, what do you do with them?

Washington potato farmer Marvin Wollman on the crisis in the Washington potato industry due to COVID-19.
Washington farmers’ COVID plight: ‘What do you do with a billion pounds of potatoes that you can’t sell?’

COVID-19 has shaken the whole world, impacting society and the global economy similar to the effect of a world war. Among many economic sectors, the frozen potato products value chain has been confronted with a true drama. The global lock down closing restaurants and halting tourism has all but stopped the consumption of processed frozen potato products.

President and CEO of World Potato Congress Inc, Romain Cools, on the global impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the potato industry.
WPC: COVID-19 pandemic halts global trade of rice and cereals, creating a food security challenge

It is just devastating. I have been dragging my feet, hoping something happens, and someone says they can use these. Once I destroy them, they’re gone. But I just don’t know what else to do. …I just did what I normally do and that’s get out and plant my crop in the ground, and do it in a timely fashion. And that came back to haunt me.

Potato farmer Mike Pink on having to destroy a field of recently planted potatoes for which he has no future home due to the devastating impact of COVID-19.
‘A season when dreams die’ – Coronavirus cuts into global french fry demand

With one or two exceptions, a different set of varieties is used to make chips in restaurants from the ones consumers are used to seeing on supermarket shelves. If you’ve got a shed full of potatoes that were meant for making French fries, you might currently be unsure whether a year’s worth of work to grow and store them will amount to anything – it’s a stressful situation.

Dr Rob Clayton, potatoes strategy director at AHDB in the UK on the impact of the lockdown situation in Britain,
Lockdown effect: British potato stocks 20 percent higher than last year

Billions of dollars will be spent on advertising, messaging, and television and media content to make you feel comfortable again. It will come in the traditional forms — a billboard here, a hundred commercials there — and in new-media forms: a 2020–2021 generation of memes to remind you that what you want again is normalcy. In truth, you want the feeling of normalcy, and we all want it. We want desperately to feel good again, to get back to the routines of life, to not lie in bed at night wondering how we’re going to afford our rent and bills, to not wake to an endless scroll of human tragedy on our phones, to have a cup of perfectly brewed coffee and simply leave the house for work.

Author Julio Vincent Gambuto on the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis.
Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting

The amount of need that we’re seeing right now is unprecedented. Just two days ago, we distributed 1.3 million pounds of food in a single day, which far surpasses our old record that we had attained post-hurricane Harvey; so we’ve never seen anything like this before since we became a food bank in the 80s.

Sabrina Bosiacki, agriculture industry manager for the Houston Food Bank, in an interview with The Packer’s Tom Karst on the ‘Buy Fresh’ program.

To our farmers, growers and supply-chain businesses. We are all living in the most extraordinary of times. The speed of change is breath taking, and to take the right decisions for our businesses and our families relies on having good access to relevant information. …For all of us, the immediate future remains uncertain.

Ms Jane King, CEO of AHDB in the UK, on advice the organization is preparing for British farmers and growers.
AHDB provides online Coronavirus advice for British farmers and growers 

To me, it’s not a big thing, we’re just giving away potatoes. I don’t understand selfish people, I’ve been a giver all my life. Hopefully it proves that farmers aren’t that tight.

British potato farmer Susan Herdsman, 51, who handpicked thousands of potatoes and personally delivered it to self-isolating families and a home for disabled children in Yorkshire.
British potato farmer cum lottery winner gives away free potatoes

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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