Fresh/ Table

Sustainable spud success: New Zealand company’s gourmet potatoes shine in national awards

Oakley’s Premium Fresh Vegetables Golden Gourmet potatoes, known for their sustainability and quality, won the Spirit of New Zealand Award at the Life and Leisure Magazine Outstanding Food Producer Awards. This Southbridge-based business, managed by the Oakley family, uses extensive soil testing, moisture probes, and solar power to support year-round production. Oakley’s marketing manager, April Oakley, highlighted the potatoes’ versatility and their commitment to sustainable practices.

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Potato market update: Firm retail demand amid planting delays across Ireland and Europe

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) reports strong retail demand for potatoes in Ireland despite one of the latest planting years, caused by erratic weather. The mixed weather has increased consumer demand, keeping the market robust. Planting delays in Ireland and Europe have pushed prices higher due to tight supply. Early-planted varieties are expected soon, offering some relief. IFA is monitoring the situation closely.

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Robust surge in U.S. potato sales: Across-the-board growth for all potato categories

In the first quarter of 2024, the U.S. retail potato market saw a 5.6% rise in sales volumes and a 4.4% increase in dollar sales, reaching $4.6 billion. Growth spanned all potato categories, led by fresh potatoes with a 7.6% volume increase. Smaller pack sizes gained popularity, while larger ones declined. Insights from Circana reveal strong consumer demand, guiding industry strategies for future growth.

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Boost in efficiency: Canada’s EarthFresh Inc. accelerates production with cutting-edge packing line

EarthFresh Inc., a Canadian potato company in Burlington, installed a new advanced packing line to address growing demand and operational challenges, including supply chain issues and equipment aging. The new system, funded by the Ontario Supply Chain Stability and Adaptability Program, improved packing rates, reduced unplanned downtime, and enabled sustainable packaging options. This upgrade also lowered transportation costs and enhanced the local market.

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Ukrainian potato price hike: Prices now triple compared to last year

EastFruit reports a significant price increase for last year’s potatoes in the Ukrainian market, with current prices for the 2023 harvest ranging from 15 to 22 UAH per kilogram (approximately $0.38 to $0.55). This is a 27% hike since the previous week, attributed to a seasonal decrease in supply amid steady demand. Quality issues and a rapid depletion of stocks contribute to the rise, with prices now 3.4 times higher than the same period last year.

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Discover the vital role of potatoes in Culinary Medicine: A comprehensive webinar

Join Dr. Sabrina Falquier on June 5, 2024, for a webinar exploring the essential role of potatoes in Culinary Medicine. This webinar will demonstrate their versatility, nutritional benefits, and cultural importance through a live cooking demonstration. Aimed at health practitioners, the webinar will provide practical dietary guidance using potatoes to create nutrient-rich, plant-forward meals suited for diverse patient needs. Sign up to learn how to integrate America’s favorite vegetable into patient care.

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Canada: ‘This is Edmonton’ podcast explores Alberta’s prolific potato industry

In 2022, Alberta emerged as Canada’s leading potato producer, contributing 21.8% to the national output with over 1.2 million tonnes, surpassing Prince Edward Island and Manitoba. A significant factor is a new large-scale potato processing facility by The Little Potato Company in Nisku Business Park. Details of Alberta’s growing prominence in potato production were discussed in the “This is Edmonton” podcast, highlighting regional agricultural developments.

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‘Nothing into something’: Little potatoes turn into big success for Canadian company

The Little Potato Company, established in 1996 in Edmonton by Angela Santiago and her father, has expanded significantly, inaugurating a new $39.5 million, 420,000-square-foot facility in Nisku, Alberta. This plant can distribute up to 125 million pounds of potatoes annually and features sustainable technologies like solar panels and water recycling. This development highlights Alberta’s flourishing agricultural sector.

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IPC strengthens retail relations with new hire Matt Zapczynski in Northeast/Midwest

Matt Zapczynski has been appointed as the new Retail Promotion Director for the Northeast and Midwest regions by the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC). With extensive experience in retail and wholesale within the produce sector, Zapczynski is celebrated for his dedication to continual learning and leadership skills. His background includes roles at The Giant Co. and Merchants Distributors LLC. Zapczynski brings a profound embrace of market challenges and customer engagement to his new role at IPC.

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Possible potato shortage looms in Ireland as growers rush to late planting following bad weather

Irish shoppers may face potato shortages this summer due to delayed planting resulting from unusually wet weather, as reported by The Journal. This setback follows a poor harvest last year, further diminishing crop size. Teagasc experts predict supermarkets might resort to rationing potatoes. Additionally, with a sharp decline in Irish potato growers from 700 to 160 over the past decade, there’s a call for supermarkets to better support farmers and cease promotions of heavily discounted potatoes.

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Value of Scottish potato industry more than just ‘small potatoes’

Potatoes, despite their versatile use in food and non-food sectors, have seen a dramatic 71% decline in UK’s fresh potato demand since the 1970s. According to a report by SRUC, Scotland remains more stable in potato production compared to the entire UK, accounting for significantly higher portions of seed potatoes, crucial due to its disease-free status. Scotland’s seed potato sector, highlighted for its economic importance, supports substantial employment and generates significant economic output.

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RPE exhibits for the first time at CPMA, ushering in a new era for potato retail solutions in Canada

RPE LLC., a North American potato industry leader, exhibited its extensive range of products at CPMA in Vancouver, including their Tasteful Selections and Farmer’s Promise brands. Highlighting its role as a year-round supplier of high-quality potatoes and onions, RPE showcased innovations such as Potatoes Your Way and a variety of packaging solutions emphasizing sustainability and local sourcing. The company also discussed expanding its Canadian supply capabilities, offering more diversity and efficiency in the supply chain to Canadian retailers.

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Canadian potato landscape: Record stocks and regional disparities define the market

The United Potato Growers of Canada reported that potato holdings in April 2023 increased by 12.5% from the previous year, totaling 52,393,000 cwt. Stocks are higher than the five-year average, with significant amounts in western provinces, especially in processing. Quebec and Maritime regions saw lower stocks due to a rainy season. Processing sector stocks surged by 24% due to record production. Meanwhile, overall seed sector stocks are slightly down by 5.6%.

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The unsung hero of health: An in-depth analysis of the comprehensive nutritional profile of potatoes

This comprehensive nutrient analysis reveals that potatoes are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients, notably high in potassium and fiber, contributing to cardiovascular health, energy provision, digestive well-being, and overall bodily function. Advocating for a heightened recognition of its nutritional benefits, the article positions potatoes as key in global health promotion and food security, urging the industry to highlight these facts in public health discussions.

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Senators want more access to Japan for U.S. fresh potatoes

During Japanese Prime Minister Kishida’s visit to the U.S., a bipartisan group of senators urged President Biden to pressure Japan for U.S. fresh potato market access. National Potato Council’s CEO noted a heightened push over the past five years, despite Japan’s inaction. Senators saw the visit as a chance to intensify negotiations, a goal pursued for over three decades.

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The role of potatoes in food security and nutrition worldwide: An in-depth analysis

Lukie Pieterse of Potato News Today highlights the potato’s vital role in global food security and nutrition. Rich in carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, potatoes yield more food per area than wheat and rice, thrive in diverse environments, and have a long shelf life, bolstering food availability. Accessible and affordable, they support vulnerable populations’ caloric needs and overall health. Despite challenges like post-harvest losses, promoting diverse preparation methods and sustainable practices can enhance potatoes’ role in a balanced diet and help combat global hunger.

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Jersey Royal potato farmers expected to struggle meeting demand this year

Recent wet weather has impacted Jersey Royal potato farmers, with projections of struggling to meet demand due to waterlogged fields and potential crop rot. The first harvest in April is jeopardized, and farmers like Paul Carre faced planting delays. Phil Le Maistre anticipates a 20% decrease in his export crop, hinting at broader UK produce challenges as well.

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Eco-friendly farming: Study finds fresh potato cultivation produces much less greenhouse gas emissions than cereal production

The Union of the German Potato Industry (UNIKA) and the German Potato Trade Association (DKHV) have commissioned a significant literature review focused on the carbon footprint associated with potato cultivation and processing. The review showed potatoes have a lower carbon footprint than cereals, with the potential for further reduction. This study found processing increases emissions, and variables like fertilizer use impact the footprint, highlighting the crop’s role in sustainable food production.

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A giant in the making: Somos Hijolusa marks a new era in the Spanish potato and horticultural sector

Patatas Hijolusa, Agrícola Villena, and Natuber have merged, forming Somos Hijolusa, a Spanish potato and horticulture giant with potential earnings of over €200 million. This traditional, family-rooted industry is evolving through strategic partnerships, aiming for national dominance and global market entry. The union signifies an innovative step for firms embracing sustainable agriculture and cooperative growth to succeed in the modern economy.

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Unprecedented weather conditions disrupt potato planting in Ireland and across Europe, market gap looms

Extreme weather in Ireland is causing delays in potato planting, impacting the national economy. The Irish Farmers Association reports excessive rainfall leading to minimal progress and potential market shortages. Similar issues are occurring across Europe, constricting current potato stocks with main processors trying to mitigate supply chain disruptions. The situation reflects the strong link between climate and agricultural stability.

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Senators rally to defend the potato’s vegetable status amid USDA and HHS reclassification debate

A bipartisan group of 14 US Senators opposes reclassifying potatoes as grains in the next Dietary Guidelines. In a letter to the USDA and HHS, they highlight potatoes’ nutritional value and historical vegetable status. The potential change could confuse consumers, disrupt industries, and adversely impact federal nutrition programs. The senators insist potatoes remain classified as vegetables, emphasizing the decision’s broad implications.

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Potato planting in peril: Irish farmers face uncertain future amidst wet weather woes

Irish potato farmers face a crisis as incessant rain delays planting, jeopardizing this year’s crop and market supply. Seasoned growers like Meath’s Ivan Curran and Louth’s Maria Flynn confront the worst conditions in decades, with the crucial weeks ahead being vital for deciding the availability of supermarket and specialty potatoes, such as those used by Tayto crisps.

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A green leap forward: Australian company’s sustainable potato bag wins top packaging award

Australian company Detpak has received the APPMA Packaging Design Innovation Award for their Kerbside Recyclable Paper Bag for Fresh Potatoes. In partnership with Mitolo Family Farms and Coles, they developed the recyclable bag, significantly cutting plastic use and fitting the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation’s sustainability criteria. Detpak celebrates this eco-friendly achievement as a step towards more sustainable grocery packaging solutions.

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The future of potato consumption: Trends in fast food and fine dining

The potato’s journey from its Andean origins to a global staple showcases its agricultural, cultural, and culinary impact. Initially spread across Europe in the 16th century, this versatile crop now graces both fast-food menus and fine dining tables worldwide. Its adaptability, nutritional value, and potential for culinary innovation keep it relevant amid shifts towards sustainability, plant-based diets, and technological advancements in agriculture and cooking. The potato’s story reflects human innovation and resilience, with an ongoing global odyssey that continues to evolve.

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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