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New Chairman of Belgapom calls for better coordination of potato chain, founding of inter-branch organisation

The annual general meeting of Belgapom, the Belgian potato trade and processing industry association, has appointed Marc Van Herreweghe as its chairman. He succeeds Marc Seru who in accordance with the articles of association was not available for re-election after two terms of 3 years. Marc Van Herreweghe is the CEO of the family-owned potato processing company Mydibel in Mouscron. Since the[Read[Read More…]

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Useful publication: Guide to investing in a post-harvest line

If you are considering investing in a post-harvest processing line, this guide will make the process easier. It is not exhaustive, but will help you understand the process so you can find the perfect solution for your business. The Guide is published by Wyma, based in New Zealand. The company designs, manufactures, distributes and services post-harvest vegetable handling equipment and[Read[Read More…]

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Bookmaker ‘Paddy Power’ takes bets on Irish potato shortages

With the ongoing heatwave in Ireland, the lack of rain could potentially have an effect on Irish food production, in particular on the potato supply. There are indications that the price of fruit and vegetables could begin to rise as early as next week. Amid warnings from the likes of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), Irish bookmakers Paddy Power are now[Read[Read More…]

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British potato farmers fear yields will be hit as mercury rises

Robert Strathern, who farms at Wormingford, near Colchester, said preliminary investigations suggest his early crop of potatoes, which he may begin harvesting as early as next week (July 9 onwards), could be down by 25 to 30% on the average. Like many farmers, he has faced a prolonged period of hot weather with no rain. “Potatoes are the main crop we grow,”[Read[Read More…]

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PAA to meet in Boise

Idaho will host the Potato Association of America’s 102nd annual meeting, from July 22 to 26 at the Boise Centre in Boise. With a membership of over 500 individuals and 20 organizations, the association is comprised of potato industry personnel and growers, private and public potato researchers and university research and extension researchers. More than 250 association members are expected to attend[Read[Read More…]

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Lamb Weston stock gains on demand for fries, new product innovation

No matter how you slice, mash or fry it, Lamb Weston Holdings has been on a tear since going public a year and a half ago. The Eagle, Idaho-based company has become a top supplier of frozen potato, sweet potato, appetizer and vegetable products to restaurants and retailers worldwide. By finding new ways to get spuds to the public in new forms,[Read[Read More…]

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How the Irish peel money off potatoes

Jamie Rankin is one of the largest growers in Ireland. Recently, a Kenyan delegation had visited him to learn how the Irish grow their potatoes, with farmers harvesting up to 50 tonnes per hectare. To grow seeds, he buys tissue-culture seedlings from Tops. Gerry Doherty, a manager at Tops, says with the advancement of science, testing of seed tubers to ensure freedom[Read[Read More…]

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Better Made bags more markets outside of Michigan, now also in Japan and Qatar

Better Made Snack Foods Inc. is breaking into more markets outside its longtime Detroit stronghold. The snack producer and local favorite, known for its potato chips, is now distributing in 14 states outside of Michigan, from Florida to Nevada, according to a company news release. It also has distributors in Japan and Qatar. In 2015, Better Made was keen on keeping with[Read[Read More…]

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Strawberries boom in Scotland but chips are down for potatoes in scorching summer

The scorching summer is already changing what Scots want to eat – with sales of ice cream soaring with the temperatures. But now farmers are warning that the record heat wave will affect what they get to eat too. Producers are warning that Scotland’s staple potato crop – already behind thanks to late and deep snow – will struggle in soil baked by weeks of[Read[Read More…]

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UNIKA welcomes PotatoEurope back in Germany for the 2018 event

During a recent public address in Frankfurt, the Deputy Chairman of the German potato industry union (Union der Deutschen Kartoffelwirtschaft e.V. – UNIKA), Dr. Heinrich Böhm, discussed the state of the potato industry in Germany, saying that Germany producers 10 to 11 million tonnes of potatoes annually, making it the largest potato producer in the European Union (EU). This sector generates an[Read[Read More…]

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Northern Ireland farmers hoping for rain as heatwave threatens to destroy crops

Farmers in Northern Ireland say they are praying for rain to avoid a disastrous harvest. The extended heatwave – which could last for another fortnight – is continuing to cause problems. Yesterday Armagh Observatory said it had recorded the warmest June since 1846. And June 27 saw the hottest temperatures ever noted by the observatory since it started taking daily measurements in 1795. Demand[Read[Read More…]

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US frozen potato exports up 8% in April; fresh exports down 33%

According to data released by Potatoes USA, exports of frozen potato products increased 8% in volume and 9% in value in April 2018 compared to April 2017. Dehy exports were up 21% in volume and 21% in value. Fresh exports were down 33% in volume and 13% in value. Frozen exports are up 1% for the July – June marketing year[Read[Read More…]

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Specialty potato brand into third quarter of campaign

Tasteful Selectionsâ„¢, a specialty potato brand from RPE Inc. in the US, launched the third quarter of its yearlong Fresh campaign, July 3. According to the company, the campaign provides insights and inspiration revolving around healthy, nutritious recipes and kitchen tips for more confident meal preparation. “Tasteful Selections best-quality bite-size potatoes transform everyday meals into family favorites by adding nutrition, versatility[Read[Read More…]

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UK seed potato varieties approved for Kenya

The door has been opened for UK seed potato producers to export to Kenya after three British varieties were recommended for release in the country. The announcement follows trials involving AHDB, James Hutton Ltd, SASA and Seeds2B Africa (part of the Syngenta Foundation). Ten potato varieties were tested at three separate farms over two seasons with free variety Cara, and two James[Read[Read More…]

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Ireland’s potato prices to rise as weather affects yields

Consumers face increasing potato prices as the weather causes havoc with this year’s crop. A combination of the snow and blizzard conditions in February and March, the ongoing heatwave, and a dearth of rain will seriously affect crop yields, according to farmers. Eddie Doyle, of the potato committee of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), told the Irish Independent that potatoes had to[Read[Read More…]

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UK facing ‘crisp crisis’ as ‘potato crops wrecked by Beast from the East and blistering heatwave’

We have already been told beer and soft drinks could run out due to a CO2 shortage. And now, we are facing a ‘crisp crisis’, it is reported. The head of a leading independent crisp makers has warned the heatwave – following on from the Beast from the East last winter – has played havoc with potato crops. Alex Albone, co-founder of Pipers[Read[Read More…]

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Belgium: Potato vending machines sprouting up in small villages

Potatoes occupy an exalted position in the cuisine of West Flanders. Frites—what people in other parts of the world call fries or chips—are a culinary staple. They can be drenched with mayonnaise, devoured alongside a wide array of friterie offerings, or used as a base over which to pour carbonnade, the classic Flanders beef and beer stew. But what if you need some[Read[Read More…]

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Canada: Kenyan delegation given up-close look at Prince Edward Island potato industry

A delegation from Kenya is turning to the potato industry in P.E.I. to help develop their important crop back home. “We’ve been told big stories about potato production in Canada, especially in Prince Edward Island,’’ says Kiraitu Murungi, governor of Meru County, the top producer of potatoes in Kenya. “So, we thought this was the best place for us to come for[Read[Read More…]

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International potato industry returns to Germany for PotatoEurope 2018

PotatoEurope 2018, the event for the international potato industry, returns to Germany on 12th and 13th September. PotatoEurope , which is an annual exhibition, is held in Germany every four years. This top trade fair for potato professionals, organized by the DLG (German Agricultural Society) in cooperation with the German Potato Industry Union (UNIKA), will again take place this year[Read[Read More…]

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New print magazine aimed at the global potato industry announced

Dear folks, as some of you already know by now, a new print magazine aimed at the international potato industry will be published in early September this year. The magazine will be titled “Global Potato News“. I will function as the Editor-in-Chief of the magazine. We are interested then to hear from individuals and companies who might want to submit an article,[Read[Read More…]

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‘Electrocuted’: Pilot programme in New Zealand puts the power into potatoes

The humble potato is in for a shocking multi-million dollar South Canterbury makeover. An industry pilot programme, part of the Ministry for Business and Innovation funded Food Industry Enabling Technology (FIET) programme worth almost $16.8 million, is being trialled at McCain Foods in Washdyke, Timaru, in what has been described as “electrocuting potatoes”. The three month test of the new Pulsed Electric Field Technology[Read[Read More…]

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Red rescue: USDA helps ease excess red potato supply

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will reportedly purchase $3 million in red potatoes for nutrition assistance programs. National Potato Council Executive Vice-President and CEO John Keeling confirms the purchase, noting that’s the equivalent of 20,000 hundredweight of red potatoes. “We worked with USDA over the past couple of weeks to get them the information about what the real surplus[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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