Europe, UK, Ireland

Aviko to close potato specialties plant in Germany

Potato processor Aviko, a Royal Cosun company, has decided to terminate operations at its factory in Oberdolling  in Germany. The Amberger factory will be closed before the end of the year. Aviko acquired a 60 percent stake in the Amberger factory in 2014 from the former owners, the Amberger family. Aviko acquired full ownership in 2017. The facility produces local potato[Read More…]

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PepsiCo launches bid for Pipers Crisps

By launching a bid to acquire Lincolnshire crisp company Pipers Crisps, PepsiCo is currently taking another step into the UK snack market. The PepsiCo company already owns Leicester-based Walkers Crisps and American firm Doritos and wants to grow Pipers in the UK. The international food and drink company’s bid is subject to approval by the Competition and Markets Authority. Pipers[Read More…]

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Continental North-West Europe’s potato harvest at least 20% lower

The total consumption potato harvest in four of the five important potato-producing countries in the EU is estimated to be at least 20% lower than last year. It is expected to come to well below 20 million tons gross. This estimate was made by the Association of North-western European Potato Growers (NEPG). This estimate is only based on harvests on continental[Read More…]

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Threat to Scottish seed potatoes

Scottish Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon this week wrote to Defra Secretary of State Michael Gove to highlight the threat to this premium farm export posed by the replacement of full single market access rights with ‘third country’ status. Conversely, Ms Gougeon noted that the ware potato industry, which is of particular importance to other parts of the UK, had[Read More…]

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“Potato crisis” in Cyprus

Lack of rainfall and high temperatures have taken a toll on the production of potatoes in the north of Cyprus and subsequent shortages in supply have led to soaring prices, Turkish Cypriot media reported on Tuesday. Daily Yeni Duzen referred to a ‘potato crisis’. Due to soaring prices in the market and the low production of potatoes this year, it said,[Read More…]

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Brexit woes: Scottish govt concerned about potato seed imports

The Scottish Government has called on Defra to put measures in place to prevent UK producers from importing European-grown seed potatoes in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Speaking on a farm on the outskirts of Dundee, Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon pointed out that Defra’s current arrangements meant Scotland would become a third country and therefore unable to export[Read More…]

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Ireland: Summer heatwave blamed for 25pc drop in potato crop

Consumers can expect the humble spud to possibly double in price over the next year according to suppliers, as the hot weather this summer means the crop is down 25pc in Ireland this year. While the country basked in sunshine and heatwave conditions throughout the summer months, the potato crop became dormant in the soil as it was too hot[Read More…]

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Vlaamse Frites: The best fries in the world?

Some cities are meant for walking. Everything worth seeing should be discovered on foot, which means plenty of exercise while on holiday, and plenty of fresh air for lungs used to recycled fumes from central air conditioning. It does make sitting down for a good meal a bit of a challenge, especially in places like Tokyo where eating and walking is[Read More…]

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Potato harvest in full swing on Ireland’s Keogh Farm

The main potato harvest started on Keogh’s Farm in north Co. Dublin approximately two weeks ago. Most will know the Keoghs for their hand-cooked crisps. Over 100 people are now employed between the farm and factory in Oldtown, Co. Dublin. Keoghs plant about 400ac of potatoes themselves; almost all of the company’s crisping potatoes are grown on Keogh’s farm. They also[Read More…]

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Guide: How to sample soil for potato cyst nematodes

Potato cyst nematode costs the British potato industry more than £25m each year and accurate soil testing is a critical aid in managing the pest to minimise crop losses. At low levels of infestation, crops show no symptoms and the danger is that populations could thrive, reaching levels that can be difficult to manage. Therefore, knowing if the pest is present[Read More…]

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Two potato farmers create UK’s first compostable crisp packet

Two Farmers, a new UK-based crisp brand, aims to redefine the snack sector with the launch of its artisan range of crisps in 100% compostable packaging. Potato farmers Sean Mason and Mark Green, from Herefordshire, have beaten the 2025 deadline for compostable packets set by potato snack giant Walkers, who recently faced a backlash over its non-recyclable packaging. The packets[Read More…]

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Potato plantings by variety in Great Britain in 2018

The revised estimate for the total 2018 potato planted area in GB is 117.3Kha, down 4.4% from the 2017 area of 122.8Kha, acccording to statistics released by AHDB Potatoes yesterday. The updated value is 2.1Kha below the first August estimate (119.4Kha). The revised estimate represents the GB area covered by over 90% of producers, and reflects both lasts years high[Read More…]

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Ruling on CRISPR-Cas: Breeding companies locating outside of Europe

Research assignments that are being withdrawn, companies that are deciding to relocate their R&D departments outside Europe — it is gradually becoming clear that the decision by the European Court of Justice to treat CRISPR-Cas as a form of genetic modification is having far-reaching consequences. Including for Wageningen University & Research (WUR). In an indepth article, Albert Sikkema at WUR[Read More…]

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Expert opinion on waste reduction, challenges facing potato processing industry

As TOMRA ships its 200th steam peeler from a state of the art processing facility in Slovakia, the company’s  Market Manager Peeling, Eamonn Cullen, take a look at the impact steam peeling has on profitability and waste reduction in the potato processing industry. In an extensive article published on TOMRA’s website, Cullen discusses a wide range of topics related to steam peeling[Read More…]

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Irish potato grower diversifies into prize-winning gin

A Wexford, Ireland grower’s vision in using the humble spud as a key ingredient in a new gin paid off when Jackford Irish potato gin received a gold medal at the recent Irish whiskey awards. John Stafford, MD of Slaney Farm Produce, saw the opportunity to diversify into the increasingly popular gin market, harnessing the appeal of the potato. The move to[Read More…]

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Ireland: ‘Trying year’ for potatoes with supply predictions ‘on knife-edge’

Reduced areas planted and reduced yields have led to what look like tightened supplies of potatoes this year – though it is too early to call for sure, according to Teagasc tillage crop and potato specialist Shay Phelan. Phelan was discussing how 2018 has been for potato growers with presenter Claire Mc Cormack on tonight’s episode of FarmLand. The Teagasc specialist highlighted[Read More…]

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Summer drought to shrink supplies of French spuds

It’s harvest time and the chips are down for potato producers in northern France where a long summer drought could see French spuds shrink in size and volume. The potatoes “first lacked water and then when rain fell in July started growing anew” which means the original plants lost starch and gained too much water, spoiling them, said Regis Dumont, a[Read More…]

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EU: Brussels bans fungicide and insecticide in addition to diquat

The EU Commission this week confirmed it was withdrawing approval for diquat – a major herbicide used as a desiccant by potato growers. It cited the high risk of farm workers, bystanders and residents to diquat, as well as a high risk posed to birds. Farmers Weekly in the UK reports today that approval was withdrawn at the same time for[Read More…]

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The changing face of Potato Cyst Nematodes in Britain

Potato Cyst Nematode infestation is a major constraint on the British Potato industry and costs upwards of £25m each year, according to Rob Clayton, Strategy Director Potatoes at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). He says the make-up of the national PCN population in Britain is changing, and nematodes are moving into areas that they have not previously inhabited.[Read More…]

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Wyma and Volm to showcase post-harvest equipment at PMA Fresh Summit

The annual PMA Fresh Summit Convention and Expo gets underway tomorrow, October 19 and will run for two days. Wyma is exhibiting from Booth 3643 at the event’s largest ever expo on record, where its Territory Manager from The Americas, Stuart Oldham will be on hand to talk over the Wyma range of post-harvest equipment and solutions. Wyma is a global company, headquartered in New Zealand, and[Read More…]

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New harvester from Dewulf to celebrate 30th anniversary of the R3060 machine

Potato- and root crop manufacturer Dewulf says it has now launched the RA3060 Essential, a standard configuration of its acclaimed self-propelled 2-row sieving harvester. in a press release the company says “This variant of the R3060 is being produced in celebration of the 30th anniversary of this machine. The manufacturer has combined decades of experience building the R3060 with feedback from[Read More…]

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British potato farmers feel the heat of variable weather

As extreme weather events increase in frequency, Sara Maslowski, senior analyst at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) for potatoes, reviews how this year’s weather conditions have affected the potato crop and prices when compared with a more ‘typical’ growing season. The 2018 season so far has been characterised by weather extremes, from snow in April delaying planting to[Read More…]

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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