COVID-19 News

Slowdown in processing demand, restaurant closures during pandemic caused a drop in Canadian potato production

According to a production report issued by Statistics Canada today, Canadian seeded area declined 1.4% from 2019 to 357,085 acres in 2020, the result of a decrease in demand at processing plants due to the closure of restaurants and bars during the early stages of the pandemic. Harvested area increased 3.0% from 2019 to 352,155 acres, because the previous year had poor harvest conditions and large areas of abandonment (20,251 acres) in 2019.

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Pandemic pushes Peru

Small scale farmers are responsible for the food that lands on 70 percent of Peruvian dinner tables, officials say, but months of pandemic lockdown and a souring economy have left many bankrupt and questioning whether to plant again. Strict quarantines early in the pandemic made transporting beans, potatoes and other crops to markets difficult. Prices plummeted as demand dropped.

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Pandemic impacts Chef endorsed UK potato brand

UK based Linwood Crops was established in 2016 by four potato specialists with over 100 years in combined experience. They set out to create a passionate business dedicated to supplying fresh Potatoes based on taste and purpose. Matt Thory, Linwood

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German potato producers expand acreage due to ‘lack of a good alternative’

Few industries have been so affected by the Corona pandemic as the potato industry. From the hoarding in spring to the sales problems with peeled potatoes in the wake of the current lockdown closure of restaurants and other eateries. The year 2020 was without doubt a remarkable marketing year for the German potato industry. Volker Peters – Managing Director of Helle Niedersachsen – looks back on the year and reflects on the future.

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COVID-19 and too much rain: A Florida farmer’s challenges mirror those that other farmers face

It’s been a year since First Coast News started following a local farmer, sharing with you his successes and struggles. When they started this story, First Coast News had no idea the troubles farmers would face because of a pandemic. This is the final installment in this story, showing how the weather is an age-old challenge for farmers and how Covid is something new. With a thousand acres of potatoes, spuds are the main source of income for the Jones family in Florida.

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Video: NPC CEO Kam Quarles provides industry update

On Nov. 12, the Idaho Potato Commission hosted its annual Big Idaho Potato Harvest Meeting, open to everyone in the Idaho potato industry. NPC CEO Kam Quarles provided an update on the federal policy victories and activities undertaken by the National Potato Council and its state potato organization partners in 2020, and set the stage for an active 2021. Kam Quarles began by saying that though 2020 isn’t over yet, looking back on it is almost like viewing two entirely separate worlds – “one is pre-Covid. and the other is the world that we’ve been dealing with since the shutdown started.”

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COVID impact: European potato sector responds to NEPG call for acreage reduction

As FreshPlaza reports, just over a week ago, the North-Western European Potato Growers Association (NEPG) sent out a call. They want the sector’s acreage to be reduced by at least 15% for the 2021/2022 season. This is an emergency measure to nip the effects of the coronavirus in the bud. For instance, the hospitality industry has been closed. But does this measure offer real relief? How realistic is the NEPG’s appeal?

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Potato Expo 2021 goes virtual

In view of on-going developments with COVID-19 and after thoughtful discussions with its Executive Committee and supporting companies, and through feedback via attendee surveys, the organizers of the Potato Expo 2021 event say they have decided to hold the coming event as a Virtual Experience only, held exclusively online. The show will take place on Tuesday, January 5 through Thursday, January 7, 2021. We believe this is the safest approach for the well-being of our attendees, along with their families, farms and colleagues.

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McDonald

Supplying McDonald’s with all their potatoes means a Canterbury grower has been able to avoid the worst effects of a Covid-19-inspired glut of overseas potatoes on the New Zealand market. Canterbury-based Hewson Farms produces around 22,000 tonnes of potatoes every year – 12,000 tonnes of which end up as McDonald’s fries. However, a 2.6 million tonne surplus of the vegetable in Europe

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Opinion: COVID-19 and global potato markets – Impact and consequences

The Coronavirus has had a major impact on the global potato industry since its discovery and spread earlier this year, writes Cedric Porter, editor of World Potato Markets magazine. The crisis led to a 20 percent increase in household consumption of table potatoes in April-May in many countries. Trade in potatoes and potato products declined 3,4% to

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NEPG: Potato plantings in Northwestern Europe expected to decrease by a minimum of 15 %

The NEPG (North-Western European Potato Growers) estimates that the total harvest will be 27.9 million tons this season if all potatoes in the ground will be indeed harvested. In a press release the NEPG says the harvest is later than usual with all the risks involved and there are still some potatoes in challenging wet areas in Western Belgium and Great Britain. This is 4,5 % or 1 million tons more than last season in the 5 leading potato countries. The NEPG considers that the growers in the North-Western EU will plant 15 % less next spring.

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A changing market landscape in the British potato industry: What behavioural changes has Coronavirus driven?

Following an extraordinary few months for the industry, join the AHDB Retail & Consumer Insight team during a series of webinars, focused on reviewing how the market and consumers have changed during the coronavirus pandemic, and what opportunities and threats this now presents for AHDB sectors. Grace Randall joins Kim Malley for this webinar focused on potatoes, discussing how purchasing and consumption has been impacted by coronavirus, pulling out the opportunities and threats for the category in the future.

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NPC CEO on accessing COVID relief aid; Potato Expo 2021 update

In the latest Eye on Potatoes podcast, NPC CEO Kam Quarles calls in to discuss how potato growers are accessing $14 billion in aid available through USDA’s new CFAP 2 program and the latest Congressional efforts to fund the government until early December. Kam also provides an update on Potato Expo 2021, currently scheduled for January 6-7 as an in-person and online hybrid event and NPC’s Annual Meeting, moved to coincide with February’s Potato D.C. Fly-In.

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HZPC potato breeding company says it ‘closes eventful year with a healthy result’

The 2019/2020 financial year has been eventful in many respects for HZPC, the company says in a press release issued earlier today. HZPC says that despite the consequences of COVID-19, the company has had an operationally successful season. The coming season, however, may well be more of a challenge, HZPC says. The potato breeder says it is on the cusp of a season which encompasses a huge, global economic recession.

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CFAP2: USDA to host Grower Webinar

USDA is introducing a new round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2). CFAP 2 provides direct support for producers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic since April 2020. During a special webinar to be hosted on Thu, Sep 24, 2020 3:00 PM EDT, growers will be informed about expanded eligibility for certain commodities, new payment categories including a sales-based approach to specialty crops and other specific commodities, and information on how to apply.

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COVID-19 response: McCain Foods USA partners with No Kid Hungry to help eliminate childhood hunger

Earlier this week, McCain Foods USA announced its partnership with No Kid Hungry to help ensure children across America have access to healthy meals amid coronavirus-related school closures and beyond. McCain Foods USA says in a press release the partnership was launched by donating $75,000 which will be directed to No Kid Hungry’s coronavirus response and recovery efforts that will help provide children with the most important school supply they can have: food.

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