Australian biomaterials company Great Wrap has created a compostable bioplastic alternative to clingfilm that is made from waste potatoes. Great Wrap film consists of starch extracted from potato peels mixed with other ingredients including used cooking oil and a starchy root vegetable called cassava. The Great Wrap clingfilm can be composted in landfills or home composting systems, where it will break down within 180 days.
New Zealand, Australia
This fact sheet on blackleg in potatoes was compiled by Hort Innovation and RM Consulting Group (RMCG) in Australia, and published online by AUSVEG. It provides information on management strategies of blackleg, the bacteria which commonly cause the disease, and what growers can do to prevent and manage it.
Australia’s potato industry has welcomed to two key commitments realised under the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), which are set to improve access to the Thai market. Thailand has now implemented zero tariffs and removed tariff rate quotas that limited the volume of Australian seed and processing potatoes that could access the lower TAFTA tariff.
Potato farmers in the Ballarat region of Australia are demanding a pay rise for their produce, claiming McCain Foods does not pay a fair price. Last season McCain Foods paid growers an average of 33 cents per kilo of potatoes delivered to the local processing plant, a figure that farmers said was well below the rising cost of production. The local growers’ association had approached the processor on Monday asking for 59 cents per kilo, a 78 per cent price increase.
Potato processor Simplot Australia has refused to budge on its second price offer to Tasmanian farmers for their potato crop this season, according to a report by Fiona Breen and Tony Briscoe for ABC Rural news. Farmers say the extra $105 a tonne the company put forward three weeks ago is still not enough to cover the cost of growing their crop this season, estimated to be about $20,000 a hectare. Simplot said it collectively considered every cost its growers incurred.
Farmers struggling to make ends meet: Simplot and Tasmanian spud farmers in standoff over rising prices
Farmers have rejected a second price offer made by food manufacturer Simplot for their potato crop this season. They say the extra $105 a tonne the company has put forward is still not enough to cover the cost of growing their crop this season, which is around $20,000 a hectare. As Laurissa Smith and Fiona Breen report for ABC Rural, Sassafras farmer and contractor Scott Rockliff said inputs including fuel and fertiliser were spiralling. Farmers said they were thinking about other options, whether it be more sheep or cattle or other crops.
Figuring out how to turn potato waste into compostable cling wrap has helped Julia and Jordy Kay, founders and owners of the Great Wrap company, land $24 million in series A funding to take on the plastic industry. Mrs Kay, an architect, and Mr Kay, who makes natural wines, decided to tackle the plastic waste problem after noticing how much pallet wrap was generated in construction and winemaking.
A 4kg bag of humble potatoes is set to join iceberg lettuce in the $12 club at Australian supermarkets in coming weeks as farmers warn of a potential 30 per cent price rise. And with a price hike in potatoes comes a jump in the price of Australian’s beloved hot chips, with rises expected at restaurants, fish and chip shops, fast-food chains and pubs.
Robertson, the small New South Wales village that is home to film stars such as Miriam Margolyes and the movie Babe, has had its biggest win yet. The town’s Big Potato sculpture has officially been named Australia’s Sh*ttest Big Thing. The large icon was described by competition organisers as “looking like it’s been up for three days straight”.
A Dunedin author had an exciting start to her day when she learned a children’s book she wrote had been given to Prince William by New Zealand’s prime minister. Jacinda Ardern presented a copy of Emma Wood’s ‘Tulip and Doug: A Spud-Tacular Friendship Story’ to the Duke of Cambridge during a meeting at Kensington Palace in London early yesterday (NZ time).
Going digital: Trust Alliance NZ to showcase new international standard, data sharing technology at conference
Trust Alliance New Zealand (TANZ) will showcase a new digital tool at the Primary Industries New Zealand conference on 6/7 July in Auckland. The ‘digital compliance product passport’ is an international standard, data sharing technology where everyone across the sector is able to securely contribute, control, collate and protect their crucial farm data.
A $5.6 million project to eliminate CO2 emissions and reduce demand for heating fuel at McCain’s Timaru factory in New Zealand will soon use woodchips to make potato chips. As Yashas Srinivasa reports for Stuff.co.nz, the company is converting its boiler from coal to domestically sourced woodchips, which will help McCain reduce its carbon emissions by approximately 30,000 tonnes per year.
If you’ve watched any Australian animal documentaries you’ll know kangaroos are not to be messed with, no matter how adorable they may look. In fact, kangaroos are stronger than humans in every aspect except their arms. One man learnt this the hard way,,,
Potato farmers are warning that growers will walk away from the industry as cost pressures make the staple crop unviable in Australia. “When farmers were getting 80 to 90 cents a kilo for potatoes, they were about $4 at the supermarket. Now, they’re getting 40 to 50 cents a kilo and they’re still about $4 at the supermarket,” says Tony Galati, a potato grower, washpacker and retailer.
Nelson based Proper Crisps is branching out across the ditch – the company has opened a factory in Australia after chip sales there doubled in 2021. Based in the Yarra Valley, near Melbourne, the factory did its first cooks for the 2022 season in the middle of March. Proper Crisps are New Zealand’s most awarded chip.
When New Zealand couple Colin and Donna Craig-Brown first discovered the gigantic vegetable in their garden last August, they knew they had something special on their hands. They decided to submit Dug to Guinness World Records, and they received some depressing news. Sadly the specimen is not a potato and is in fact the tuber of a type of gourd.
New Zealand’s potato Centre of Excellence to be grower-centric, identify problems and devise solutions
The board of Potatoes NZ Inc. (PNZ) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Lincoln University to launch a research partnership which includes a Centre of Excellence for Potato Research and Extension, based in Canterbury. The research conducted at the Centre will be focused on working with potato growers to identify and understand the problems confronting them and to devise solutions to those problems.
Australians are consuming more potatoes than ever before according to new data. As Megan Hughes reports for ABC Rural, statistics from research and development organisation Hort Innovation shows 87 per cent of Australian households bought potatoes at the supermarket, taking home an average of 1.7 kilograms per shopping trip.
A massive Kiwi potato that is in the running to claim a world record has gone viral after the man who found it gave a hilarious interview to British TV. Waikato man Colin Craig-Brown in New Zealand spoke to former NZ broadcaster Philip Schofield on his popular This Morning breakfast show about the trials and tribulations of securing official recognition for his giant potato.
AUSVEG, and its State Member AUSVEG VIC, are monitoring the situation on-the-ground in Ballarat following reports that recent storms and wet weather have impacted much of the region’s potato crop. The region is an important supplier of potatoes, particularly for the processing industry. AUSVEG is reaching out to local growers to better understand the extent of the damage.
There are fears of a potato shortage after wild weather lashed the Ballarat region in Australia last week, causing millions of dollars of damage to crops. Clarkes Hill potato farmer of 40 years, Rodney Guthrie, says his area endured hail and 150mm of rain. 3aw.com.au spoke to Mr Guthrie.
Up to 95 per cent of the potato crops in the Ballarat agricultural district have been damaged by storms last week, as the state braces for more wild weather. As Jane McNaughton reports for ABC Rural, some farmers in the region were reporting more than 200 millimetres of rain from the weather event. Ballarat Potato Growers Association chairman Chris Stephens said hail defoliated juvenile crops, which were already delayed due to the wet and cold summer.
Wyma Solutions announced recently that it has won the 2021 Kordia Champion Producer/Manufacturer award in New Zealand. The award is a recognition of Wyma’s ongoing commitment to meeting the challenges and needs of the industry and the company’s customers, and is one of the Westpac Champion Business Awards. “Getting closer to our customers and understanding their unique environments and challenges is key to our success,” commented Andrew Barclay, Managing Director of Wyma Engineering (NZ) Ltd.
The New Zealand potato industry saw supply chain disruptions, changing protocols for health and safety and a polarization of political and health ideologies in the last 21 months of the pandemic response, the industry body says in a recent newsletter. NZ potato growers across the country have been under immense pressure during 2021, but shows continued value growth despite pandemic setbacks in the export market, thanks to a strong domestic market.
Fertiliser prices have soared, the cost of farming equipment has gone up and unrelenting rain means the potato season is behind schedule. As Meg Powell reports for The Advocate, Tasmania could be in for a potato shortage, growers have warned.
Wet weather and rising fertiliser prices are forcing farmers to rethink their potato plantings, with tonnages expected to be down significantly in the upcoming season. Former McCain grower representative and seed potato grower Beau Gooch said it was becoming significantly more expensive to grow potatoes. Leigh Elphinstone, Simplot Growers Committee chair and north-west potato grower, said the weather and fertiliser hurdles could result in a potato shortage.
McCain Foods Tasmania installs Pulsemaster PEF-tech innovation, reduces water use by more than 100,000 litres per day
McCain Foods has installed proprietary world-leading technology in the form of a Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) generator, as part of the company’s latest upgrade to its Smithton plant in Tasmania. The plant has reduced water usage this year by more than 100,000 litres per day, and the PEF system will also save the plant approximately 276 tonnes of carbon each year, and around 33,000 gigajoules of energy due to the increased efficiency and reduced wastage.
“Plant cures” are the key to world-first research by a team of scientists at the University of Queensland (UQ), led by Professor David Craik. “We’re engineering plants into super-efficient producers of next-generation medicines,” Professor Craik said. “So we want to put molecules into, say, potatoes, so that effectively you can have your french fries and not worry about the consequences.”