Europe, UK, Ireland

China to review anti-dumping duties on EU potato starch following local concerns

China will review anti-dumping duties levied on potato starch imported from the EU, which are due to expire on Tuesday, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) announced on Monday. The review was requested by the China Starch Industry Association over concerns that domestic producers might suffer if the duties are scrapped. During the investigation, which will start on Tuesday and will probably last a year,[Read[Read More…]

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Researchers aim to improve accuracy of potato cyst nematode calculator

A team of Harper Adams University researchers, Dr Matthew Back, Dr Ivan Grove and Bill Watts, are working in collaboration with Leeds University and Barworth Agriculture to improve the accuracy of the ‘AHDB Potatoes potato cyst nematode (PCN) pallida calculator’ which is currently used as an educational forecasting tool for UK potato growers. To help growers to formulate control strategies, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development[Read[Read More…]

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Potatoes: Not only eat them, but also drink ’em…

In Ireland, Donegal continues to brew its reputation as one of Ireland’s top producers of fine alcoholic beverages, with a new gin set to be launched this weekend. Behind the new tipple is the Muff Liquor Company, a business recently set up by entrepreneur Laura Bonner and her business partner Tom Russell. They are confident they can entice both novice[Read[Read More…]

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Grower opinion: Instilling confidence for a successful British potato industry

Confidence throughout the supply chain is key to a sustainable potato industry, but how can growers, processors and packers ensure consistent productivity and regular investment in an ever-changing marketplace? The challenges associated with the UK potato sector are not new; a high turnover of varieties, changing consumer habits and hugely volatile commodity prices all add to the complexity of the industry,[Read[Read More…]

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Potatoes and onions: Partners through time

Potatoes and onions are, more often than not, paired together in retail produce departments in the US. When visiting supermarket produce departments, when shoppers see one, they will find the other. As the two commodities require similar temperatures, retailers frequently merchandise them alongside each other and find sales improve for both items. Potatoes and onions are supplied and transported together, which[Read[Read More…]

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Platform for online trade in potatoes now a reality

An online market for the professional purchase and sale of potatoes worldwide, named Potato Market, is now a reality. It is a project launched recently by the company Agromar, which has facilities and grow potatoes in France and Spain, and is part of the company Intersur, a leader in the production of new potatoes in Spain. “Some years ago, there was[Read[Read More…]

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NFU Potato Forum wants to improve relations in British fresh produce sector

The potato supply chain, with its numerous stages on the journey from seed via processing to final customer, has not always been the most transparent. With relations between growers and processors occasionally strained, the sector has found it harder than most to build up trust and confidence throughout the chain. To address the problem, the NFU Potato Forum last month[Read[Read More…]

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Europatat Congress 2018 registrations now open

Europatat, the European Potato Trade Association, confirms the dates for the upcoming annual Europatat Congress are May 3-4. Registrations for the event taking place in Brussels (Belgium) are now open. Under the slogan “Potatoes: a healthy, sustainable and responsible sector”, the congress will focus on the many assets of the sector in both political and technical key areas of health, sustainability[Read[Read More…]

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UK: Potato giant weathers poor harvest

Turnover and profits have held firm at Manor Fresh, the Lincolnshire-headquartered supplier of potatoes to retail giant Marks & Spencer, despite a “challenging” market following one of the worst harvests on record. The company, which employs more than 170 staff at its base in Spalding, has reported a slight drop in turnover to £59.2m for the year to 29 April 2017,[Read[Read More…]

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Ireland: Farmer brothers extend massive deal with Tesco to supply 65,000t of potatoes and veg

Country Crest, the north Dublin-based family-owned agri-business, and Tesco Ireland have confirmed a further extension of its almost 20 year relationship until 2020. Owned by Gabriel and Michael Hoey, Country Crest will continue to supply all potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes to Tesco Ireland’s 149 stores and via online shopping in a deal worth over €60m. The 2020 agreement will see[Read[Read More…]

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Cargill and AKV Langholt plan $22.5m potato starch facility in Denmark

Cargill and its Danish potato starch partner AKV Langholt will invest $22.5 million in a new potato starch production unit at their Langholt facility in Denmark. The potato starches produced at the new facility expand Cargill’s SimPure portfolio of functional native starches. Cargill said that its SimPure starches feature ingredients from a variety of botanical sources, “providing food and beverage manufacturers access[Read[Read More…]

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British potato farmer aims to lead vodka revolution

Vodka is the latest example of farmers driven to drink as they seek to make more from their resources in the ground. Gin, beer and wine are already part of Yorkshire agriculture’s burgeoning business romance with alcohol and its latest entrant David Rawlings of Priory Farm, Syningthwaite in North Yorkshire has already distilled success before a bottle has gone on[Read[Read More…]

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Canadian bred potato varieties in the spotlight at annual event

Using a combination of traditional crop breeding techniques, as well as new and emerging technologies, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) releases to the marketplace 10 – 15 new potato selections annually. These annual releases have been carefully chosen from a starting population that may number 120,000 new seedlings. On February 14, these selections will be presented to the Canadian potato[Read[Read More…]

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HZPC to venture into the export of true potato seed?

According to a news report published yesterday on the Dutch agriculture website, potato seed breeder and supplier of seed and ware potatoes, HZPC, intends to export true potato seed (TPS) in the near future. The company, based in the Netherlands with subsidiaries in several other countries, reportedly see opportunities for the export of true potato seed to countries in[Read[Read More…]

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Scientists create potato starch paint as petroleum-free alternative

Researchers in Germany have derived film formers for paint using potato starch. Although there has been numerous attempts to use “organic” components as a base for paint, none have proved to be at par with industry standards. This step from the science community at Fraunhofer has allowed us to have an insight towards creating true “natural” coating products that leaves[Read[Read More…]

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Project to improve forecasting of UK’s most damaging potato disease

A collaborative project has been announced to improve forecasting of UK’s most important potato pest. A team of researchers aim to improve the accuracy of a calculator which is used as a forecasting tool for growers to predict potato cyst nematode (PCN). To help growers to formulate control strategies, AHDB Potatoes created the ‘PCN Calculator’ for the most troublesome species, Globodera pallida. The calculator enables[Read[Read More…]

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UK: Seed potato suppliers to retail market see 10-15% sales increase

Taylor’s Bulbs says seed potato sales are 10-15% up following the decision by Westland/Unwins and Thompson & Morgan to pull out of the 2018 garden centre seed potato supply market. Taylor’s director Adam Taylor says seed potato sales have started already. JBA Seed Potatoes completed the outright purchase of the Westlands/Unwins seed potato business as of 8 August 2017. JBA’s Iain Barbour said:[Read[Read More…]

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Tong Engineering appoints new dealer for Scotland

Potato and vegetable handling equipment manufacturer Tong Engineering announced that it has appointed ScanStone potato systems as the company’s new approved dealer for Scotland. Tong Engineering has confirmed its partnership with ScanStone in order to strengthen its relationship with potato and vegetable growers throughout Scotland. Located just outside Forfar, Angus, ScanStone is a family-owned and operated business, designing and manufacturing a wide[Read[Read More…]

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New potato equipment innovations showcased at Agritechnica event

The Agritechnica event in Hanover, Germany is the world’s largest trade fair for agricultural machinery and a big draw for farmers who want to stay on the cutting edge of technology. Spud Smart magazine in Canada was there in November of last year for a firsthand look at some of the latest innovations in the potato sector during the Agritechnica 2017 event. The German[Read[Read More…]

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European potato market overview: Demand nearly nonexistent in France

The potato organization FIWAP (Filière Wallonne de la Pomme de terre) in Belgium has published it’s latest weekly report. According to the report, there is virtually no demand for processing potatoes in France, although some buyers are expected to return to the market in the coming weeks / months as contract volumes are completed. The fresh market is also moving[Read[Read More…]

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Brexit: Jersey Royal potatoes ‘could be left rotting in fields’ due to lack of EU workers

The largest producer of Jersey Royal potatoes has warned crops may be left to rot in the fields because foreign workers have left ahead of Brexit. Polish workers – who had previously provided the majority of seasonal labour – have abandoned Jersey following the EU referendum, according to Charlie Gallichan of Woodside Farms, which grows and exports Jersey Royals, vegetables and flowers. Growers are “trying to keep their heads above water until[Read[Read More…]

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European Potato Trade Association welcomes new Communication & Policy Advisor

The European Potato Trade Association (Europatat) is pleased to announce the appointment of Berta Redondo Benito as the new Communication & Policy Advisor of the association, with effect as of 8th of January. Mrs Berta Redondo (27) is an enthusiastic and creative communication professional specialised in European agricultural policies. She holds a Journalism Degree from the University of Valladolid in Spain,[Read[Read More…]

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UK: Potato growers ‘must look in dusty corners’ to innovate

Researchers are continuing to make strides in helping UK potato growers to get the best crop with the least environmental impact as a nationally-significant Suffolk farm project reached the end of its second year, farmers were told this week. Elveden Estate farm manager Andrew Francis said forward-thinking growers had already made innovations and were now looking for gains in less obvious[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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