New Zealand, Australia

Australia: Past ‘Farmers of the Year’ reflect on success ahead of 2020 awards

Australian potato farmers Susie and Gerard Daly were named Farmers of the Year in 2019, and the exposure from the win has boosted their business. The family runs a potato farm in Dunalley, on Tasmania’s south-east coast, and has spent the past couple of months ramping up their business amid increasing demand due to COVID-19. “For us it’s been a godsend, in that people are staying at home and cooking so we saw the fresh potato market increase by 40 per cent nationally in the first month of the epidemic,” Ms Daly said.

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Aussie potato growers supported by public at farmers’ markets

Many industries have faced changes due to COVID-19, including potato growers. With the Great Trentham Spudfest in Victoria, Australia cancelled earlier this month due to coronavirus restrictions, the region’s growers were left without one of their biggest opportunities of the year to sell their produce. But they, along with other growers around Ballarat, have all found ways to continue selling their potatoes to the public.

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Rain decimates Tasmanian potato crop; processors fear European spuds will be dumped on Aussie market

Tasmanian potato growers, who produce the bulk of Australia’s French fries, are having a disastrous harvest. Months of wet weather is making it impossible to get onto paddocks in parts of the state. Processors Simplot and McCain Foods told the ABC they expect to lose 10 per cent of their entire crop this year. At the same time, processors fear a glut of European potatoes, caused by the shutdown of the food service sector, will be dumped on the Australian market.

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Potatoes New Zealand gearing up to achieve zero emissions goal

Potatoes New Zealand is seeking funding from the Ministry for Primary Industries for a nationwide project to transition crop production to more sustainable land management. In February Potatoes NZ adopted a new strategic objective of zero net emissions by 2050. It is now one of three central objectives for the sector including doubling export value by 2025 and increasing domestic value by 50% by 2025.

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Covid-19 lockdown: Fish and chip shop closures sting Kiwi potato and fish suppliers

New Zealand produces 500 million kilograms of potatoes each year and half of that ends up as frozen chips with the vast majority being sold to takeaway shops and restaurants. Potatoes New Zealand chief executive Chris Claridge said people making do by whipping up their greasies at home. ”That hasn’t made up for a drop in demand from the hospitality sector in the food service sector, which has essentially gone to zero.”

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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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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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