News November 2022

U.S. and Canada potato trade spat: ‘Truth must prevail in potato wart discussions’

There are two things we know for sure, writes Ian Petrie in a news story published by Island Farmer. He goes on to say that Prince Edward Island (PEI) potato growers in Canada “want to use their snow blowers to move snow this winter, not destroy potatoes. Secondly, the National Potato Council, the U.S. potato industry’s political lobbying arm in Washington, wants another import ban on all PEI potatoes claiming economically devastating potato wart can’t be stopped without it. One of these groups won’t get what they want.”

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PepsiCo Alimentos Venezuela launches program to train potato growers

PepsiCo is the largest potato processor of potatoes in Venezuela, with around 2,400 tons per year. PepsiCo Alimentos Venezuela recently launched its ‘Agro with Purpose’ program, hoping to learn new techniques to more than 100 potato growers in Venezeula’s Mérida state. Gabriel Ginés, general manager of PepsiCo Alimentos Venezuela, explained that these farmers are to receive new knowledge for sustainable and technological production, which facilitates the planting process.

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TOMRA Food reorganizes, appoints new regional sales director for TOMRA Processed Food

TOMRA Food has appointed Christian Tougaard to Regional Sales Director EMEA for TOMRA Processed Food, part of TOMRA Food. Christian’s appointment follows the reorganization earlier this year of TOMRA Food into two business areas, TOMRA Processed Food and TOMRA Fresh Food. Christian said: “I was attracted to TOMRA Food by its leadership in innovative optical and peeling sorting solutions, the people I’ve met at the company, and the focus on sustainability.”

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Popular Filipino specialty potato fries chain to open in Canada

Coming soon, Potato Corner – a Filipino-based global chain that specializes in cooking and serving flavoured fries – will open its doors in Calgary. Potato Corner opened its first outlet in the Philippines in October 1992 and began franchising the year after. Today, it has grown from small carts into in-line stores found in almost every corner of the world.

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Multimillion dollar programme in New Zealand aims to provide growers with a nitrogen management tool

Sustainable Vegetable Systems (SVS) is a $7.5 million dollar multi-tiered research programme, funded by New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries, led and co-funded by Potatoes New Zealand in collaboration with the Vegetable Research & Innovation Board and Horticulture NZ. SVS provides the data and subsequent modelling of vegetable nutrient uptake and nitrogen leaching. Potatoes New Zealand recently uploaded three videos on its YouTube channel to explain the SVS programme goals and activities.

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Interpom 2022: Innovations selected for the Innovation Tour

Innovation is key to achieve healthy, sustainable growth and to be able to tackle the current challenges, such as climate change, water scarcity, fertiliser shortages, labour shortage and rising costs of raw materials and energy, according to the organisers of the Interpom 2022 event. With the help of an independent group of experts, Interpom organisers has selected a number of must-see innovations developed by exhibitors.

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Study found potatoes do not increase risk for type 2 diabetes, participants lost weight

Potatoes have developed a reputation for causing weight gain and an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, and often find themselves on a list of foods to avoid, especially for individuals with insulin resistance. However, a new study from Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University (LSU) says that potatoes actually did not increase that risk. Individuals who participated in the study actually lost weight.

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Opinion: ‘Is success of the potato industry Ireland’s best kept secret?’

The figures speak for themselves. Back in 2013, Irish potato consumption levels had dropped to 100,000t/yr and were projected, back then, to keep on falling. Today the figure stands at 200,000t and looks set to rise into the future. So what has brought about this more than significant – and very welcome – turn of events about? Well, unless anyone would like to argue differently, the plaudits for all of this must be directed towards Bord Bia [Irish Food Board].

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Study in Canada’s Alberta province looking at rapid detection and early diagnosis of potato diseases

Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR) recently announced a project to establish a system for early and rapid diagnosis of all potato diseases, and provide Alberta potato growers a proactive surveillance platform. The outcomes from this project will benefit all Alberta’s potato producers and plant disease researchers. All results of this study will be publicly available for adoption and utilization by other commercial and research labs in the province.

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Canada: PEI govt proposes legislation to limit what crops can be grown in potato wart index fields

Prince Edward Island’s provincial minister of agriculture has tabled legislation that would give the provincial government a lead role in trying to prevent the spread of potato wart in the province. If passed, the act would give the minister Darlene Compton the authority to prohibit or restrict the planting of certain crops within an area of a field where a regulated disease has been detected, for up to 20 years.

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Wilson’s Country: Seed potato ban ‘at crisis point’ for Northern Ireland growers

The ban on UK seed potato exports to the EU and Northern Ireland has reached crisis point for Northern Irish potato growers who depend ”very heavily” on seed imported from Scotland, according to leading Irish potato grower-packer Wilson’s Country. Wilson’s Country CEO Angus Wilson told Northern Ireland Minister of State Steve Baker MP that the ban could severely damage the competitiveness of potato production in Northern Ireland.

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New report provides insight into trends that will transform the food and agricultural world in 2023 and beyond

Nourish Food Marketing, in partnership with Kahntact have released their 7th annual Trend Report. The 2023 Report provides insight into nine key trends that will shape and transform the food and agricultural world in 2023 and beyond, from ‘un-ignorable’ issues like climate change to the historic highs of food inflation, ‘female food’, and the future of eco-conscious agriculture.

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IFA: Potato consumption picks up in Ireland and Europe, ambient stores difficult to hold in the UK

Retail demand and household consumption in Ireland have picked up since colder weather has set in, as the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) reports. Storage costs are a multiple of last year’s costs and growers must immediately receive an increase at farm gate level to compensate for this, IFA says. In the U.K. ambient stores are difficult to hold while it has been so mild and “wets” in bags are a problem for some growers.

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Canadian Potato Council provides perspective on USDA draft report regarding potato wart situation

The USDA has published a draft report for public consultation assessing pathways of introduction for potato wart from Canada into the United States. In a recent press release issued by the Canadian Potato Council, the industry body’s manager, David Jones says, “You may be aware of statements from industry stakeholders regarding the report that have raised your concerns about the movement of potatoes grown on Prince Edward Island (PEI). We wish to clarify the intent of the report and the basis upon which the pathway analysis was conducted.”

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Post-Brexit: Scottish potato growers have ‘lost massively’, says parliamentarian

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin has urged UK Government to involve Scottish agriculture and Scottish Government on trade decisions affecting the sector. Ms Martin discussed her concerns for seed potato growers, for whom she said the withdrawal from the EU has had disastrous consequences as the ongoing post-Brexit ban on selling seed potatoes to the valuable EU market continues to disadvantage Scottish growers.

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National Potato Conference in Ireland: ‘Growers need fair share of market price for a sustainable future’

Speaking at the National Potato Conference in Co Meath today, IFA President Tim Cullinan called on the newly-approved Office for Fairness and Transparency in the Agri Food Supply Chain to ensure a fair share of the consumer price is paid back to farmers and unfair trading practices are eliminated. “Growers need to receive a fair share of the retail value. They carry all of the risk while the facilitators and retailers take the lion’s share of the margin,” Tim Cullinan said.

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Elea Technology to present its new, high-capacity system range at Interpom 2022

Elea is introducing its new PEF Advantage B1000-850 system for the processing of chips and fries, the company’s highest capacity belt system to date. According to Stefan Toepfl, Managing Director at Elea: “We have combined ten years of experience, process know-how and user feedback into the design, enabling our clients to process more for less.”

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AVR’s Puma 4.0 Comfort Drive self-propelled harvester upgraded, on display at Interpom 2022

With the Puma 4.0, AVR introduced the world to a robust, high-tech 4-row self-propelled harvester. For the 2023 season, AVR is planning a major upgrade of the All Conditions Control (ACC) digging unit’s depth control mechanism. With fuel prices at an all-time high, AVR says the Puma’s fuel consumption is very low. The machine will be on display for the first time at Interpom 2022.

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A year later, P.E.I. potato growers still feeling impacts of U.S. border closure

It has been one year since the U.S. border was closed to P.E.I. potatoes, and potato growers say they are still feeling the impact. Now, they worry a blanket ban on P.E.I. potatoes could happen again. According to Alex Docherty at Skye View Farms, “There’s millions and millions of dollars lost, and good food went to waste, and it’s not over, that’s the problem.”

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Potato Sustainability Alliance: ‘The most important time for agriculture’

This article was written by John Mesko, Executive Director, Potato Sustainability Alliance (PSA). “The topic of sustainability and all of its relatives – regenerative, climate-smart, and resource positive – are the hottest focus in agriculture right now,” Mesko wrote. “These initiatives are growing in popularity and influence because of the legitimate promise that farming practices can change the world. [But]…climate-smart practices are not being adopted as fast as climate experts tell us they need to be.”

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Pulsemaster set to unveil latest pulsed electric field (PEF) innovations, discuss future vision during Interpom 2022

Industry professionals involved in the potato processing sector are invited to meet with the Pulsemaster team at this year’s Interpom event to discuss the company’s latest pulsed electric field (PEF) solutions, and its commitment to keep pace with emerging industry trends. “Our latest Pulsemaster PEF-systems are a must-see,” says Managing Director, Mark de Boevere.

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An ode to the potato: Is there any comfort food that does it better?

Potato, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways, writes Jane Stannus in an article published by The Spectator. There are great buttery mountains of mashed Yukon Golds, and then there are oven-roasted wedges with lime, dill and black pepper… Potato historians claim that once European farmers reluctantly accepted the tuber, Europe entered into a new era of plenty, where potatoes formed an easy crop and served as inexpensive food for the poor.

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‘Our second-worst year in 80 years’, says Canadian potato farmer

Variable precipitation had an impact on this year’s potato crop in southwestern Ontario province in Canada, especially if the operator didn’t have irrigation. At Brenn-B Farms in Waterdown, co-owner Shawn Brenn reported that his 750-acre potato crop yield plummeted to about 9 tonnes per acre, down from the usual 15-17 tonnes, as Nelson Zandbergen reports for Farmers Forum.

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Idaho Potato Commission appoints new Commissioners

During the Idaho Potato Commission’s (IPC) October meeting, two new Commissioners representing the grower and shipper industries were sworn in. Daren Bitter of Bittersweet Farms and Brian Jones of Sun Valley Potatoes will each serve three-year terms. Commissioners Bryan Wada and Paul Saito were sworn in for their second terms and now serve as Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively.

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