In this edition of the NPC hosted podcast: After years of delay, on April 28, Mexico’s Supreme Court unanimously ruled to overturn a lower court decision that prevented the Mexican federal government from implementing regulations to allow for the importation of fresh U.S. potatoes throughout the country. The ruling marks the end of a decade-long legal process.
News April 2021
Wyma Europe and UK: Continued development, innovation and customer success crucial, says general manager
The fresh vegetable industry in Europe and the United Kingdom is undergoing rapid and exciting change at present says Jason Gerrie, General Manager of Wyma Europe and Wyma UK. Having been in the industry almost 20 years, as well as leading Wyma’s companies in Europe and the United Kingdom, Jason is no stranger to development in the industry. But it is the current pace of change that is exciting and highly motivating, especially for a customer-focused company such as Wyma.
Small Robot Company (SRC), a British agritech start-up for sustainable farming, today announced its first commercial robot, ‘Tom’. SRC’s first service using Tom will be per plant weeding, a world-first milestone. This is now in field trials, with Tom scanning first arable crops to detect weeds, and robot weeding prototype ‘Dick’ then zapping individual weeds with electrical ‘lightning strikes’, using no chemicals.
‘Greening the Green’: PepsiCo to make snack packaging 100 percent recyclable, teams up with Clean Up Australia
PepsiCo has strengthened its commitment to tackling plastic waste by becoming the first large food FMCG business in Australia to move to 100 percent recyclable packaging across its entire snacks range. PepsiCo’s portfolio includes some of the most recognisable snack brands in Australia including Smith’s, Red Rock Deli, Sakata, and Doritos. By the end of the year consumers will be able to recycle all of their PepsiCo snack packaging via their home curb side recycling.
After a stunning year of growth for frozen food, Specialty Food magazine looks into where the thriving sector will go from here. The resurgence of the freezer shows that time-pressed shoppers are looking for simple meals that don’t compromise on taste: an area where the fine frozen food industry excels. Demand for frozen fruits, vegetables and herbs is on the rise. There is one area that has fared as well as the rest of the frozen and chilled food market over the past year: ready meals.
The Mexican Supreme Court unexpectedly voted on Wednesday to overturn a 2017 lower court decision banning U.S. fresh potato sales in most of Mexico. While it’s unlikely potatoes grown in Aroostook County will make the several-thousand-mile trip into Mexico, it’s still good news for Maine’s growers because western farmers such as those in Idaho and Colorado who market on the east coast now likely will start moving their crops south.
Improving technology, coupled with the difficulty of sourcing seasonal labour, has led to a significant investment for Fram Farmers member Home Farm Nacton in Suffolk. The organic fresh produce farm has taken delivery of a Robotti 150D, from Danish manufacturer Agrointelli,which is the first robotic tractor in the UK, and is now fully operational on the farm. Home Farm produces both organic and conventional vegetables including potatoes across 1940ha. The company was looking for ways to adopt more advanced technology into the business.
HZPC Holdings B.V. announced last month that it will end the business activities of Solentum B.V.. Pessl Instruments GmbH will acquire some of Solentum’s products as of May 1, 2021, including the products SolGrader and SolAntenna. Herman Verveld, commercial director at HZPC says the company is pleased with the agreement and satisfied that customers can continue to work with Solentum’s products.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary: Mexico court ruling on fresh potato imports ‘important for American agriculture’
“Mexico’s Supreme Court released a final, unanimous ruling today on a case that puts U.S. fresh potatoes one step closer to finally gaining access to Mexico following nearly 20 years of negotiations. This decision is important for American agriculture and for positive bilateral relations between the United States and Mexico,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says in a statement released today.
Today, April 28, 2021, the Mexican Supreme Court ruled by a unanimous vote of five to zero in favor of overturning a 2017 lower court decision that prevented the Mexican federal government from implementing regulations to allow for the importation of fresh U.S. potatoes throughout the country. The ruling marks the end of a decade-long legal process that began when Mexico’s potato industry sued its government to prevent competition from imports.
Dignitaries, researchers, and private sector representatives gathered this week in southwestern Georgia to celebrate the opening of potato seed model farm that will provide ideas, training and high-quality seed to potato farmers throughout the country. The seed model farm is one part of the USAID Potato Program in Georgia, a multi-faceted intervention to improve potato seed systems in the country. The International Potato Center (CIP) is leading the initiative.
The year 2020 has been unprecedented in many ways and has been extremely challenging for fresh produce suppliers, retailers, and shoppers, writes Raul Fernandez, President of Breakthrough Solutions, in an article published by Produce Business. Looking ahead, the following summarizes the top consumer trends for produce suppliers in the coming year. Fernandez identifies seven essential trends.
Bayer hopes to lay waste to early blight in potatoes, with its new fungicide, Caligula. It contains 125g/L fluopyram and 125g/L prothioconazole in a suspo-emulsion (SE) formulation and has demonstrated a level of yield protection against early blight in trials that looks set to secure it one of the highest ratings of any product on the Euroblight early blight league table.
Yara has extensive crop nutrition knowledge created from more than 100 years of research and development in more than 150 countries around the world. To support the potato production industry in Eastern Canada, Yara’s expertise and findings of more than 40 local field trials done in 2020 have been brought together in one document: The Nutrition of Potatoes in Eastern Canada – 2021.
Lamb Weston is utterly chuffed to announce that its runaway success, The Dukes of Chippingdom, have picked up the Silver Award for the Best New Side of Plate/Ingredient Foodservice Product in the 2020 British Frozen Awards. The Dukes of Chippingdom are Proper British Chips. Distinctively natural, gloriously golden, royally rustic, thick-cut chips – made from 100% British potatoes, they are more British than a British bulldog in a Union Jack waistcoat!
“Biologicals are tools for the sustainable agriculture of the future… Biologicals are a class of agricultural products that include biopesticides, biofertilizers, and biostimulants that are derived from natural materials, such as animals, plants, bacteria, or minerals,” writes Claude Flueckiger in this article published by AgoPages.
Work has started on a new £6m facility at Branston’s site in Lincolnshire to extract high grade plant protein from potatoes. The UK potato supplier is working alongside B-hive Innovations as part of a collaborative project to improve potato crop utilisation. The commercial factory is the first of its kind in the UK.
European Seed has published its list of “The 20 Most Innovative Plant Varieties of 2020” recently. Marcel Bruins, Editorial Director of European Seed writes: “Let’s face it, not many people can make reliable predictions about the future. But do you know who has to make such predictions due to their jobs? Plant breeders!”. Two varieties from European potato breeding and seed companies made the list: ‘Alouette’ from Agrico, and HZPC’s ‘Cayman’ variety.
An investigation into the European dumping of frozen processed potato into the New Zealand market has been deemed as not being a material threat to the country’s potato industry, according to a new report. New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) Interim Report said that while dumping had occurred, it did not require tariffs to be applied.
While restaurants across the US continue to open, more Americans are still cooking at home more now than they did before the pandemic began. Consumers reported cooking slightly less than half of their meals at home before the onset of COVID-19. Not surprisingly, this increased to 66% in April 2020 and remained elevated at 54% as of August – which Cooking Light magazine referred to as “The year everyone learned to cook at home.”
The Prince Edward Island Potato Board is excited to share with potato farmers and industry partners the launch of a new podcast, Spudchat. This weekly podcast is hosted by Ryan Barrett, Research and Agronomy Specialist, and will feature conversations with a variety of farmers, researchers, agronomists, and industry partners.
Beleaguered Manitoba potato growers are hoping for a normal crop this year after three consecutive years of adverse weather, unharvested acres, lower-than-expected yields and now the COVID-19 pandemic. Guarded optimism would be the best way to describe growers’ mood as they prepare for the 2021 crop amid weather and market conditions largely beyond their control.
Two agricultural engineering graduates from Warwickshire are preparing to propel the UK into a robotic agricultural revolution, by introducing a new kind of robotic tractor from Denmark. their company is now the UK representative for the Agrointelli Robotti, a versatile autonomous robot, designed for solving multiple tasks in the field throughout the complete farming season.
Mike Renouard, business unit director at The Jersey Royal Company, said that farmers were hoping for a period of rain to help with the growth of their crop. Cool and dry conditions over the last two weeks are slowing down the growing process, forcing farmers to irrigate their fields. This continued dry spell could impact the quantity of potatoes being lifted.
Lambweston / Meijer Sustainability Report: ‘Eat balanced, don’t waste food and care about the climate’
Lamb Weston / Meijer defines 3 key sustainability challenges for 2030: ‘Balanced Diet, Zero Waste and Climate Action’. These are disclosed in its sustainability report 2019-2020, which was published last week. The report shows that most of the 2020 goals are reached. Compared to the reference year 2008, 90% of its frozen products are pre-fried in healthier vegetable oil, low in saturated fat.
Courtesy Jonny Hawkins.