New Zealand, Australia

Organic humble heroes: New Zealand’s Whitfield Organics

Organic farmers are a small but growing sector in New Zealand. Considering consumer trends and the recent law changes, it’s time to “hero” the industry, writes Gemma Carroll, Communications & Engagement Officer at Potatoes New Zealand in a recent article. Not long ago, Gemma headed over to Clive, near Hastings, to meet with Hawkes Bay organic grower Brad Whitfield. Brad is a fourth generation grower who still shares some of the work with his 80 year old dad Dave.

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Kiwi potato leadership on display: Zero net emissions by 2050

In February 2020, the Potatoes NZ board adopted a new strategic objective of zero net emissions by 2050. The Sustainable Vegetable Systems Project (SVS) is a multi-stream nationwide project that will transition crop production to more sustainable land management practices while growing resilient communities and economies.

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NZ: As COVID-19 decimates job numbers, one Kiwi industry can’t hire fast enough

Breaking the silence of a nationwide lockdown, the hum of a tractor is the only sound. Farmers are among the country’s essential workers, so farms and fields are remaining busy keeping food on Kiwis’ plates. And despite panic-buying, there is no shortage. New Zealand could survive on potatoes alone, writes Conor Whitten in an article published by Newshub Nation.

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Australian shoppers urged to eat smarter and add more potatoes to supermarket trolleys

Australians stockpiling groceries to prepare for COVID-19 are being warned against wasting food by a leading Australian authority. “International experience tells us that food becomes much more valued during these trying times, and in turn everyone should focus on reducing their food waste,” Dr Lapidge said. Potatoes South Australia is launching a five-day social media campaign telling buyers to think about alternatives to emptying supermarket shelves of dry staples like pasta and rice.

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Produce exposed: Is plastic-free produce the next frontier?

“Naked produce. No, it’s not a dodgy search term (though I wouldn’t even try Googling it, just in case); it’s the next new thing in supermarket shopping,” writes Niki Bezzant in her monthly blog, Potato Chat, for Potatoes New Zealand. Niki writes in the latest issue of the blog that Countdown supermarket chain is trialling a plastic-free produce section in[Read More…]

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Mini potato bites dubbed the 'must-have' Aldi buy by Aussies

Of the thousands of products sold in Aldi stores across Australia, customers have dubbed the Maitre D’ Potato Gratin as the ‘must have’ buy of 2020 so far. Priced at a mere AUS$3.69, the miniature frozen potato bites are ideal for family dinners or lunch treats. Hundreds of happy customers praised the product on Facebook with many describing the item[Read More…]

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PepsiCo New Zealand changes cooking oil, reducing amount of saturated fat in chips

PepsiCo New Zealand is committed to reducing the saturated fat, sodium and added sugars for Kiwi consumers, Potatoes NZ reports. Exciting news from the potato crisp industry recently, as PepsiCo NZ evolve healthier processing for NZ’s favourite snacks. The maker of Bluebird potato chips and other snacks, has changed the cooking oil for its major snack brands to canola oil.[Read More…]

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Australia's famous Big Potato for sale for $920,000

If you’ve always wanted to own Australia’s famous Big Potato, here’s your chance. The big spud, located in the town of Robertson has a price guide of $920,000. Modelled on the Sebago potato variety, the Big Potato was built in the mid-1970s by potato grower Jim Mauger.

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Potatoes South Australia and industry band together to send wooden bins to fire ravaged Kangaroo Island

In response to the horrific bushfires on Kangaroo Island, Potatoes South Australia Inc has come up with some very practical assistance. Saddened by the devastating impact of the bushfires local farming communities in many parts of Australia, the unprecedented fires that have ravaged more than one third of Kangaroo Island are of particular concern for its members, stakeholders and their[Read More…]

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Collaborative approach to be highlighted at potato conference

Putting potato research into practice is the theme of this year’s influential SAC Association of Potato Producers’ annual conference in Perth – and it will feature the views of SRUC’s new tattie guru, Dr Phil Burgess. The newly appointed lead potato researcher and consultant for Scotland, he is to use his first public appearance in his role to highlight the[Read More…]

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Most Aussies not impressed to see their favourite dessert as a chip flavour

One of Australia’s favourite desserts is becoming a chip and people aren’t loving the idea. News that Smith’s is making a lamington-flavoured chip has not received a positive reaction from news.com.au readers, with more than 80 per cent on our Facebook poll saying ‘no’ to the new incarnation. (Smith’s is a British-Australian manufacturing company best known for its crisps/chips). A lamington is[Read More…]

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Australian potatoes explore Egypt

A trade delegation including Western Australian (WA) potato industry leaders toured Egypt in November, confirming the potential to export at least 10,000 tonnes of seed potatoes.  The delegation focused on connecting with commercial operators at all levels of the Egyptian supply chain involved in potato crisp processing. This visit followed a 2017 visit, which identified the market as having significant[Read More…]

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Adelaide to host World Potato Congress

The city of Adelaide in Australia will host the World Potato Congress (WPC) in 2023. The WPC will have a theme of ‘Old World Meets New’, focusing on the historical status of the potato as a food staple. It will also focus on the innovation and technology applied to its production today, and the investment in research and development being[Read More…]

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World Potato Congress announces date for next meeting

Adelaide, South Australia has been named as the host city for the 2023 World Potato Congress (WPC), the first time this globally significant biennial business event has been held in Australia. Apart from highlighting the destination’s business events offering including accessibility, world class venues, hotels and connectivity, the successful bid, led by the Adelaide Convention Bureau and Potatoes South Australia,[Read More…]

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Tasmanian potato growers win ABC Rural Farmer of Year Award

Tasmanian potato growers Susie and Gerard Daly have been recognised for their innovation and dedication to the agriculture industry by winning the Kondinin Group and ABC Rural 2019 Australian Farmer of the Year Award at a ceremony held at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 16 October 2019. The award was presented as part of the 2019 Kondinin Group and[Read More…]

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Customers prefer New Zealand grown potatoes, industry body says

Supermarket chain Countdown says its biggest selling potato is still the one with the least flavour – white washed potatoes – providing an opportunity for growers. This is according to industry body Potatoes New Zealand. The organization says in a press release that countdown business manager vegetables Grant Robinson is of the opinion that potatoes were a pantry staple, with[Read More…]

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Fight lost to keep potato mop top virus out of New Zealand

The fight to wipe out a potato disease from New Zealand has been lost, according to a report published by Rural News in that country. Biosecurity NZ and Potatoes NZ have reportedly ceased their joint eradication response to Potato mop-top virus (PMTV). The industry says it will now be taking the lead on long-term management of the disease. PMTV was[Read More…]

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DNA soil test service alerts growers to pathogens

The Australian potato industry have invested during the past few years in the development of a unique soil test that extracts DNA – which allows for the determination of the presence and intensity of potato pathogens prior to planting. This service was developed and is provided by the South Australian Research Development Institute (SARDI) to potato growers. Oppressive soil pathogens[Read More…]

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Tasmanian McCain potato growers gain price increase

Tasmanian potato growers, supplying McCain now will receive a long-awaited price increase; grower Beau Gooch said the $33 per ton increase would help put profitability back. “It’s the biggest price rise we have had for a lot of years. It’s going to make a lot of difference. The price rises we have had the last few years haven’t even really[Read More…]

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Tasmanian potato farmers accepted Simplot’s second price offer

More than 80 potato growers in Tasmania felt a sense of relief when receiving Simplot’s second offer, says TFGA Vegetable Council chairperson Nathan Richardson. The offer was proposed at a meeting in Deloariane on Tuesday night and will see a $35 per tonne increase for all varieties of potatoes in the upcoming season and a minimum $10 per tonne increase[Read More…]

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PNZ Biennial Conference huge success, Nutrient Emissions Project launched

Gemma Carroll, Communications and Engagement Officer at Potatoes New Zealand (PNZ), reports that the recent PNZ Biennial Conference was “a rich and thought-provoking gathering”, 5-6 months in the making. “It was two days covering all things R&D at our Agronomists Forum, brilliant minds, experts in their fields as keynotes at our Plenary Sessions and a celebration of paddock to plate[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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