Across Regions, All latest monthly News, Pressreleases, Trends

‘It was said’ – Quotations worth remembering

Dear readers, please find here a few quotations that we selected from news items published on Potato News Today the past couple of weeks.

Tom Werner, President and CEO of Lamb Weston:

The final months of fiscal 2020 were some of the most challenging in our Company’s history. Government efforts worldwide to slow the spread of COVID-19, including restrictions on restaurants and other foodservice operations, as well as shelter-in-place orders, abruptly reduced near-term demand for frozen potato products, which significantly impacted our sales and earnings in the fourth quarter. …As states began to reopen, we saw clear evidence of frozen potato demand steadily strengthening across our restaurant and foodservice channels. …Although we continue to face an unprecedented challenging environment in the near term, we remain confident in the long-term health and structure of the category…
News report here

AUSVEG National Manager for Export Development, Michael Coote:

Even in the midst of the current economic climate, demand has continued to be strong for Australian fresh vegetables and potatoes in export markets… Australian potatoes and vegetables enjoy a positive reputation in international markets for quality and reliability of supply. The industry has seen positive export growth in recent years and it is important that we are able to continue to supply these markets during the COVID-19 disruption to maintain this hard-won market share.
News report here

Dr David Cooke, Research Leader at The Hutton Institute:

While there are indications of minor genotype-specific differences in efficacy [of late blight fungicides], this data does not show any immediate cause for concern for potato growers that newer blight genotypes are causing problems for fungicide programmes – especially in this season that has been generally ‘low risk’. This doesn’t mean there’s room for complacency however. Growers are advised to follow FRAG guidance and adopt Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approaches where possible.
News report here

Colin Clark, former Scotland Office Minister with responsibility for food and farming:

The banning of copper jeopardises this year’s crop and further undermines the future of the 2021 crop as well as posing a serious risk to the £180m Scottish potato industry. In my capacity as a grower and a former Scotland office minister, I successfully lobbied the UK farming minister to clear copper for emergency use on organic potatoes. Plus, I have been involved in the conventional and organic agri-food industry for over 30 years supplying major supermarkets. Copper in various forms has been used in my experience for 20-plus years to control late blight in organic crops. Organic farming in Scotland is growing, it is now an advanced, modern and large-scale part of Scottish agriculture.
News report here

Wilson’s Country managing director Lewis Cunningham:

Individual purchase volumes increased by 6.4% over the past year totalling 85.4kg. Potatoes now enjoy a 97.6% retail penetration in Northern Ireland. That’s up 1.4% on 2019 levels. All of these trends point to a very positive story for the local potato sector. They also confirm the growing consumption of potatoes in homes. Significantly, these trends became apparent before the introduction of the Covid-19 lockdown. We saw the expected, seasonal boost in potato consumption at Christmas time 2019. However, this momentum was maintained into the New Year.
News report here

Barbara Wells, CIP Director General, and Rodney Cooke, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, in the introduction to CIP’s 2019 Annual Report:

Research to enhance conservation of the world’s agrobiodiversity is crucial in building resilience in the face of global warming. Research to increase food production by 60% over the next 30 years, while remaining within environmental boundaries, is critical. And research for more nutritious, sustainable food systems capable of generating inclusive growth is needed now more than ever.
News report here

Randy Hardy and Merrill Handy, Idaho potato growers, on the impact of COVID-19:

It was fantastic, clear up until the virus hit. I was telling people I farmed for 48 years waiting for a year like this because it was the perfect storm. We had a few less acres, so less potatoes and it looked like it was going to be a good marketing year and I happened to have a good crop, pretty good yields and excellent quality. …It looked like it was a slam dunk, a home run. Everything had lined up for Idaho growers; it looked really positive towards having a favorable market return for 2019… It was just like an overnight avalanche of panic and extreme caution [when COVID-19 hit].
News report here

Archie Gibson, executive director at Agrico, on the potential of the new salad potato variety, Jacky:

Together with its high blight resistance scores which potentially mean fewer sprays, Jacky has a capacity to be a very profitable crop. If replicated in commercial growing situations, this natural resistance could save growers over £400/ha plus man and machinery hours. …Jacky is setting a standard that no other variety has got near.
News report here

Alejandro Argumedo, Director of Programs and Andes Amazon Lead of Swift Foundation:

Most diversity in crops – and livestock – is still found in the regions where they have been around longest, adapting to climatic extremes, pests, and diseases through millennia interaction with human cultures – as we have weathered our own storms and pandemics. …For centuries, crop diversity has enriched the world, but has been taken out of the hands of Indigenous people in doing so. That story is only beginning to shift as the rest of the world starts to give Indigenous farmers the respect they are due. Community initiatives like the Parque de la Papa (Potato Park), in the primary region of potato diversity in the Andes of Peru, are connecting with worldwide conservation efforts on the farmers’ own terms.
News report here

Corien Herweijer, Business Development Manager for Agrico East Africa, on implementing video tutorials in Kenya’s potato industry:

Our goal was to replicate and demonstrate in these videos the very same principles and techniques that are communicated to farmers in-person in the field. Experience has shown us that this kind of education methods pays off: smallholders that have adopted Agrico EA’s modern agricultural practices have witnessed an average yield growth to more than 14 tons per acre, and an average net income boost of more than USD 2,000 per acre. This is of course in combination with access to modern seed potato varieties, other essential inputs, and much needed finance.
News report here

Jay McCrum on the opening of North America’s newest french fry processing plant:

Not many people get the opportunity to open this kind of facility. For our family to see our potatoes come to life in this form, promote Maine and our fellow growers in this way, is something that we are really fortunate to do.
News report here

Western Australia Potatoes CEO Simon Moltoni on the post-COVID situation:

A concern going forward is that this has been an international issue; creating a significant oversupply that has the potential to end up on the Australian market,” he said. “The potato industry has been lobbying the Federal Government to ensure that no dumping of frozen product occurs. Overall, volumes remain steady. The fresh and processing markets remain firm. Export of both ware and seed has seen incremental growth.
News report here

Howard Snape, regional president of McCain Foods in the UK:

Extreme weather, from record-breaking heat and drought to devastating floods, has caused severe hardship for Britain’s potato farmers. In the last two years, we’ve seen the worst crops of potatoes for the last 40 years.
News report here

Photo credit: Real Simple

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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