The National Potato Council (NPC) today announced the release of “Measuring the Economic Significance of the U.S. Potato Industry,” a comprehensive analysis on the domestic economic impact of potatoes. According to the report, the U.S. potato sector is a driving force of America’s economic prosperity, with an estimated contribution of $100.9 billion in 2021, generating an estimated 714,000 domestic jobs and providing wages of $34.1 billion annually to those employed along its supply chain.
News February 2023
‘WASTELESS’: Europatat participates in EU project to measure and monitor food waste
A new EU-funded project, WASTELESS, aims to develop tools and recommendations for measuring, monitoring and ultimately reducing food loss and food waste by at least 20% annually. The multidisciplinary consortium comprises 16 beneficiaries, 12 affiliated entities and 1 associated partner each from 14 countries. Europatat is proud to be part of this new project, the industry body says in a recent news post.
Newtec’s LASER FLOWPACK700: An innovative and sustainable packaging solution
Newtec recently announced that it will showcase its innovative LASER FLOWPACK700 packaging solution at the upcoming MacFrut event, taking place from May 3rd to May 5th at the Rimini Expo Centre in Italy. The machine is a state-of-the-art, fully automatic laser welding solution that is ideal for ultra-thin film packaging applications, including fruits and vegetables such as potatoes and carrots.
Boosting crop health with tailored nutrition and biologicals: Insights from a British potato grower
A Yorkshire farmer in Britain credits the use of tailored nutrition and some biologicals with boosting the overall health of his potato crop. Richard Smith farms 3,000 acres of combinable crops including 320ha of potatoes. “Biologicals have a part to play in general crop health – keeping them in the mix is important, it’s just vital that you understand where best to use them in your programme,” he says.
HZPC awarded Royal predicate on 125th anniversary: A recognition of its impact on the international potato industry
On Monday 27 February 2023, potato breeder HZPC celebrated its 125th anniversary. For HZPC, this was a day with an extra golden edge. Dr. A.A.M. Brok, Commissioner of the King of the Province of Friesland, also presented HZPC with the certificate for the predicate “Royal” on Monday afternoon in Joure. With the predicate Royal, HZPC has now become “Royal HZPC Group”, including the subsidiaries STET, HZPC, and ZOS.
From pipeline to commercialization: The National Chip Program’s impact on potato breeding
The National Potato Council (NCP) in the U.S. aims to improve potato chipping varieties in the pipeline toward commercialization and has brought more collaboration among potato growers and breeders in different regions. The program also helps enhance the trial process through reduced development time and increased candidates’ strength, Potatoes USA says in its February 2023 newsletter.
Northeast Potato Technology Forum scheduled for March
After two years of virtual meetings, the Northeast Potato Technology Forum is excited to be back in person for 2023. The meeting will take place on March 21st and 22nd, 2023 in Fredericton, New Brunswick. This two-day event will feature presentations from researchers from the Atlantic Northeast (NB, NS, PEI, QC and ME) working in potato research and agronomy.
‘Growing the Potato Crop’: Irish potato manual a ‘game changer’ for East African farmers
Irish international development agency Vita launched the book ‘Growing the Potato Crop’ by former Teagasc stalwart and renowned potato expert John Burke a few years ago. The book, which is expected to be a significant game changer for potato farmers in East Africa, focusses on improving potato productivity in sub Saharan Africa. Iverk Produce has uploaded the 395 page book as a pdf file on its website.
Registrations for the upcoming Europatat Congress now open
The next Europatat Congress will take place on 5, 6 and 7 June in Gdańsk, Poland. The congress will be hosted by the Polish Potato Federation. Europatat organises its Congress every year in a different European location. Registrations for the 2023 Congress is now open.
The science of producing the ‘perfect French fry’
This article analyzes the technical aspects of making ‘the perfect French fry’, specifically examining the importance of potato varieties, frying oil, and the blanching process. Overall, the production of perfect French fries requires a balance between technical knowledge and innovative approaches to mitigate potential health risks associated with the consumption of this popular snack food.
Lamb Weston invests $250 million in Argentina’s potato industry – with an eye on the international processing market
U.S. headquartered Lamb Weston is making significant strides in constructing a big potato processing plant with an investment of $250 million in Argentina, according to a news report by Hector Huergo for Clarin. The construction of the new plant began a year ago and is progressing on schedule in the Mar del Plata Industrial Park. The entire production of the plant will be earmarked for the international market.
NPC launches 2023 Grower Supporter Campaign
The National Potato Council’s (NPC) annual Grower Supporter campaign, launched last week, provides resources to promote and protect the potato industry’s interest in Washington, D.C. NPC says in its latest newsletter, “Through the hard work of NPC and our state partners, we were able to open Mexico for fresh potato shipments – a step intended to finally resolve the longest running trade dispute in our industry’s history and in USDA’s as well.”
‘Donation innovation’: AAFC research farm in Charlottetown donates surplus potatoes to foodbank
The AAFC Harrington Research Farm in Harrington produces thousands of pounds of surplus crops each year – including potatoes – all for the sake of ensuring the continued sustainability of Canada’s agriculture industry. In 2022, more than 7,000 pounds of potatoes made their way from AAFC Harrington Research Farm fields to local food banks across Prince Edward Island.
Tips for proper seed storage to ensure quality: Advice from a potato storage specialist
Adrian Cunnington of Potato Storage Insight warns that due to the unprecedented lack of certainty in the UK industry and delays in decision-making, there may potentially be a lot of short-term storage of seed this spring. Therefore, it is crucial not to compromise seed quality by being complacent about how it is handled, even for the shortest periods.
HZPC strengthens presence in China with new potato varieties and strong local partnerships
Ton Frijters has represented HZPC in China for many years, visiting numerous potato growers and experiencing the challenges of strict coronavirus measures in the country recently. Nevertheless, he remains optimistic about the future and is looking forward with enthusiasm to 2023. “The demand for HZPC varieties in China is continuously growing,” Ton affirms.
IFA: Energy Support Scheme to be extended for Irish farmers
The retail and food service sector trade remains buoyant, the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) says in its weekly potato market report. It was announced this week that the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme will be extended, to 31 May 2023, and enhanced, including by reducing the threshold for qualification from a 50% increase in electricity or gas costs to a 30% increase.
Japan’s access to U.S. chipping potatoes leads to export growth, potential for fresh potato market
In 2006, the United States opened the Japanese market for fresh U.S. chipping potatoes. For the first time since World War II, potatoes grown in the U.S. could be exported to Japan and processed into potato chips. The U.S. potato industry now wishes to turn its attention to the bigger goal of opening the Japanese market for fresh U.S. table-stock potatoes.
The TOMRA 3A: Belgian farmer finds an ideal solution to clean potatoes going into storage
Eric Simoens is an arable farmer and owner of Hove Ter Hille in Jabbeke, located in the polder region near the Belgian coast. Last year, Mr. Simoens’ farming operation experienced serious problems dealing with an excess of soil and dirt clods during and after the potato harvest. To solve the dirt problem and clean the potato crop before storage, Eric Simoens’ farming operation contacted TOMRA and eventually acquired a TOMRA 3A sorting machine with excellent results.
Latvian potato growers hopeful for new season
Recently, the staple of the Latvian diet – potatoes – experienced one of the steepest price jumps in the past 10 years, reaching an average increase of 50%. Growers are now preparing for the new season in the hope that weather conditions will be favorable enough to finally produce good results after two years of poor harvest, Zemgale Television reported on February 22.
Report: Prominence of private-label brands, online shopping drive global growth of potato processing market
The processed potatoes market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.2% between 2022 and 2027, according to recently released report by Technavio. The size of the market is forecast to increase by USD 41.71 billion. The growth of the market is said to depend on several factors, including a growing focus on expanding production capabilities for potato processing, growth of organized retailing, and increasing prominence of private-label brands.
Webinar: Management of potato tuber blemish diseases
World Potato Congress Inc. is pleased to present a webinar with Dr. Alison Lees, Potato Pathologist with The James Hutton Institute, Dundee, UK on February 28, 2023 at 9.00am Eastern Standard Time (EST). The webinar will be titled “Potato Tuber Blemish Diseases: Status and Management”. The presentation will review the status of some of the prevalent potato skin blemish diseases such as black dot, silver scurf and black scurf and the research findings in relation to options for effective disease control.
Indian startup created world’s ‘first recycled’ sunglasses from waste potato chip bags
A Pune-based startup in India claims to have created the world’s first recycled sunglasses made from empty packets (bags) of chips. Founder Anish Malpani says on his Twitter channel: “We just made the world’s first recycled sunglasses from ‘impossible-to-recycle’ plastic waste – metalised packets of chips. And this is just the start.”
Price of hot chips soars due to Australia’s potato shortage
Queenslanders are being burnt by hot chip [fries] prices. They’re soaring to as much as $12 for a small serve in the wake of a sorry spud supply. As 7News Australia reports, some stores have had to go to drastic measures to keep their fryer full. Chip shops such as Good Lookin Rooster are now importing chips from countries such as the U.S. for twice the local price.
The Idaho Potato Commission and Van Leeuwen launch limited edition ‘malted milkshake & fries’ ice cream
The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) is partnering with Van Leeuwen, a New York-based nationally beloved brand known for their made-from-scratch dairy and vegan ice creams, to create a limited-edition ice cream representing one of America’s favorite food pairings, Idaho potato French fries and milkshakes. A recent national survey identified Idaho potato French fries and milkshakes as one of the most irresistible flavor combinations edging out biscuits and gravy and chicken and waffles.
Managing Director at Scottish Agronomy: ‘Finding the balance between saving the planet and feeding the world’
Agriculture is a fundamental part of Scotland’s economy and modern farming activities can have a profound effect on our landscape, communities, and diversity of landscape, writes Adam Christie, Managing Director at Scottish Agronomy in a recent blog post on the farmer-owned cooperative’s website. With the pressure of feeding the eight billion mouths now on the planet, up from three billion as recently as 1960, “the difficulty is going to be finding the balance between saving the planet and feeding the world,” Mr. Christie says.
Canada: Alberta potato operation heading into unexplored territory with livestock, crop rotation
These days farmers are encouraged to be experimental, and to conduct trials on their own land to see what works best for them. What agronomists may not say is just how nerve-wracking it can be. And that goes double when doing something that has rarely, if ever, been done before, writes Jeff Melchior in a news article for AlbertaFarmer Express.
HZPC expects turnover to grow during 2022/23 financial year
Potato breeding company HZPC, is poised to achieve its expected results for the financial year 2022-2023. HZPC expects its turnover to grow 10% over last year (then 352 million euros) with a gross margin of 66 million euros (during the last financial year it was 63.9 million euros). Says Gerard Backx, CEO of HZPC: “The increase is mainly thanks to areas outside Europe, where licensed cultivation takes place. Mainly in Asia and America.”
Changing consumer attitudes with late-blight-resistant GM potatoes in Sweden
Ongoing field trials in southern Sweden presented an opportunity for researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences to let a group of consumers see one of those crops for themselves. The trials were of a late-blight-resistant transgenic potato developed from the King Edward variety. Following a field visit, there was a positive change in risk perceptions and attitudes.
The ‘hearty’ spud: Side Delights celebrates American Heart Month with heart-healthy eating options
As new data shows that heart disease affects younger adults (35-64) more frequently, Side Delights suggests heart-healthy eating changes that can reduce the conditions that put them at risk. “Potatoes are high in potassium, soluble fiber, magnesium, niacin, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, all of which are important for heart health,” noted Kathleen Triou, president and CEO of Fresh Solutions Network.