Fresh/ Table

UK regulations relaxed to allow Mallorcan potato exports

Mallorca has been exporting potatoes to the United Kingdom since 1927 and future exports are now guaranteed because the British Government has agreed to change the regulations and allow Mallorcan potatoes to be sold in the British market. Conditions for exporting companies are not the same as they were before Brexit, because London requires a phytosanitary certificate with more demanding standards than before.

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Side Delights: Healthy-eating, immunity gain importance with consumers since pandemic

Side Delights revealed recently released trend data on the growing focus on the health benefits of foods and the impact it has on consumer behavior. Since the inception of the pandemic, healthy-eating and immunity has continued to gain importance with consumers, and it shows in their shopping habits. Side Delights says its potatoes are grown in the best potato growing areas, stored in high-tech storage facilities, and packed and delivered close to customers/final mile experts.

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Following the trend: Germany’s Europlant launches lower carb potato varieties

Many consumers of potatoes are of the opinion that the vegetable contains too many carbohydrates. In a press release issued today, German based potato variety company Europlant says it is heading the low carb nutrition trend, and is now offering two potato varieties which contain fewer carbohydrates: the mild, mainly firm-cooking Coronada, which is branded as Linella, and the tasty, firm-cooking Montana.

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Potato retail sales in the US at five-year record highs

Total potato sales at retail were at five-year record highs for both dollar and volume sales in 2020, according to a press release issued by Potatoes USA today. The industry body says dollar sales increased by 16% compared to 2019 and all categories, except deli-prepared sides, grew by double-digit dollar sales. Fresh potato sales increased by almost 21% in dollars and 15% in volume. All types increased in dollar and volume sales by at least 6%.

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2021 starts out quieter for UK potato markets

January has been a quieter month for potato markets. For most in the market, it has been more subdued than historically. Following the EU-exit agreement, exports of fresh potatoes have been able to continue, although there was some disruption at ports at the start of the month, reports AHDB Analyst Alex Cook. Processing sectors have seen reductions to demand levels from December. The market has been hit hard by the national closure of education sectors alongside dine-in hospitality.

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Western Australia: ‘Back to Basics’ for autumn potato marketing campaign

Local consumer research has shown that those who are decreasing their consumption of potatoes are concerned about health and weight loss. Those who have increased their potato consumption are interested in budget-friendly and healthy meals and are young families or young adults with no kids. So says Western Australia’s Marketing Manager, Georgia Thomas. The theme of the Autumn-Winter campaign for WA Potatoes is “back to basics”. The direction will see a selection of simple, healthy recipes developed.

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Mallorca asks the UK not to let Brexit affect potato exports

The Balearic Islands have asked the United Kingdom not to let Brexit affect Mallorcan potato exports. The Head of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, Mae de Concha, has written to the UK’s Agriculture Minister, George Eustice, asking him to “maintain the same conditions as before for the export of Mallorcan potatoes.” Mallorcan potato represents 70% of all potato exports from Spain to the UK, according to the Director General of Agriculture, Biel Torrens.

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Premium white potato market is taking off with EarthFresh’s Polar White variety

EarthFresh today launched a new winter promotion highlighting their premium white potato variety – the Polar White. The company says in a press release that this white potato has an excellent taste profile and is a growing favorite throughout the US. “White potatoes are up 10% across the US, and the Northeast remains the dominant region accounting for 50% of all white potato sales nationally,” says Shilo Sammy, Director of Customer Insights at EarthFresh.

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Turnover and profits grow at Marks & Spencer potato supplier

Turnover and pre-tax profits grew at a major supplier of potatoes to retail giant Marks & Spencer during its latest financial year. Lincolnshire-based Manor Fresh in the UK has reported a turnover of £55.9m for the 12 months to 25 April 2020, up from £54.3m. Pre-tax profits went from £1.1m to £1.5m over the same period. The company says new business development opportunities continues to be progressed.

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‘Potatoes were the pandemic powerhouse’, says Potatoes USA Chief Marketing Officer

The 39th annual Southern Rocky Mountain Agricultural Conference and Trade Show started its three-day run Tuesday, Feb. 2, on Zoom and at the Ski Hi Complex in Monte Vista. John Toaspern, Potatoes USA Chief Marketing Officer, gave an overview of potato sales from March to December of last year during his 30-minute session. His report was mostly positive. Retail sales soared and continue to do so as people stayed home during the pandemic.

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Scotland’s Potato House owner talks Brexit, breeding and heritage potatoes

In this week’s Scotland’s Larder column in The Scotsman, Catriona Thomson talks to Andrew Skea from Potato House about how Brexit is affecting the Scottish seed potato industry, about growing your own heritage spuds, to chit spuds or not, and more. Whether it is for baking, boiling, roasting, making chips or for mash, Andrew Skea knows a thing or two about the humble potato. Andrew explains that growing up, “that was pretty much all that was talked about.”

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Planted potato acreage in Spain expected to be down

According to FEPEX’s potato committee, the area planted with early potato varieties, which are mainly grown in Andalusia and Murcia, will decrease by 5% to 10% in the 2021 production season, while acreage of mid-season and late varieties, which are cultivated especially in the center and north of the peninsula, will decrease by 20%. The area devoted to medium-season and late-season potatoes in Castilla and Leon are expected to decrease by 20%.

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Wada Farms: Supply of Colorado potatoes expected to last through next harvest

Wada Farms Marketing Group, headquartered in Idaho Falls, ID, is a major supplier of potatoes from both Idaho and Colorado. Rand Green writes in an article for The Produce News that in its Colorado operation, the company appears well positioned to meet customers’ anticipated needs for Colorado potatoes through the beginning of the 2021 harvest. “We have a good supply,” said Michele Peterson, head of the Colorado sales office in Monte Vista for Wada Farms.

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Associated Potato Growers Inc. packages Red River Valley potatoes for buyers across the US

Associated Potato Growers Inc. is one of the largest potato packing cooperatives in the Midwest, marketing yellow and red potatoes – in a variety of bag sizes – to buyers across the United States. Seventeen farmers in North Dakota and Minnesota grow potatoes for Associated Potato Growers Inc., which is the only grower-owned potato cooperative in the Red River Valley. Demand for yellow potatoes began increasing about a decade ago, said Mike Torgerson, Associated Potato Growers Inc. CEO.

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The power of the Idaho potato brand

In the end, 2020 was a pretty good year for Idaho’s iconic potato industry, but it sure wasn’t easy. That’s one of the main messages Idaho Potato Commission CEO Frank Muir delivered to lawmakers recently as he brought members of the House and Senate agricultural committees up to date on how the state’s spud industry fared last year. During his annual “state of the potato industry” address to Idaho legislators, Muir also spoke about the power of the Idaho potato brand and how it helps not only the spud industry but the entire state.

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MountainKing increases fresh potato sales significantly with the use of high-graphic display bins

According to MountainKing’s research, represented by a combination of customer feedback and industry reports, fresh potato sales increase 21 percent with the use of high-graphic display sleeves depicting a particular meal. MountainKing’s display sleeves present images of various meal possibilities with the company’s different potato varieties. “Frankly, we weren’t surprised with the sales increase figures,” says Andreas Trettin, marketing director for MountainKing.

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The new potato range from Linwood Crops: Sold for ‘Purpose and Taste’

Due to how potato varieties can perform so differently at different times of the season, Linwood Crops in the UK says it does not sell its potato varieties by variety as such (unless requested), but rather by the ‘best available for purpose’, as well as for consistency – and ultimately taste on the day, and at whatever stage of the season, the company says. This Unique Selling Point (USP) puts Linwood’s Chef’s Taste brand in a class above any others and is receiving a fantastic amount of interest, according to Linwood.

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Dietary Guidelines for Americans: ‘Make every bite count with potatoes’

Potatoes help support the Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ recommendation for increased nutrient-dense vegetable consumption. Says John Toaspern, Potatoes USA Chief Marketing Officer: “It’s official: the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans have yet again confirmed the importance of eating more vegetables such as potatoes that provide potassium and vitamin C. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations focus on increased nutrient-dense vegetable consumption.

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FAO launches the UN’s International Year of Fruits and Vegetables 2021

The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), QU Dongyu, earlier this week launched the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables 2021 (IYFV) with an appeal to improve healthy and sustainable food production through innovation and technology and to reduce food loss and waste. Proclaimed at the 74th session the UN General Assembly, IYFV 2021 is dedicated to raising awareness about the important role of fruits and vegetables in human nutrition, food security and health.

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US Potato Harvest 2020: A video compilation

The potato harvest is a highlight for most potato farmers around the world, big and small growers alike. At times it turns out to be the “cherry on the cake” after a long season of sweat and toil, especially when pleasant surprises are unexpectedly unearthed. Other times it might turn out to be a time rife with disappointment and agony – a time best forgotten as soon as possible. However it might turn out to be, harvest time is always marked by a good measure of excitement and anticipation.

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Storage conundrum in Britain: ‘To store or to sell your potatoes?’

If crops were treated with Maleic Hydrazide (MH) pre-harvest, in line with best practice recommendations, British potato will now be facing a decision on whether to apply in-store sprout suppressants such as spearmint oil and ethylene, writes Anthony Speight in a report published by AHDB. Speight says some processing crops may have been treated already. But uncertain demand heading into spring poses the question on whether to sell potatoes that are in store at the moment or keep them for longer.

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UK: Seasonal potato market roundup – December 2020

The GB potato industry accounts for over 117.46Kha of planted area this year, and is represented by 1,611 growers in 2020. AHDB Analyst Alex Cook writes in this news report that British growers have faced difficult seasons of late. Last season, from a supply point of view with the challenging lifting conditions in 2019/20, and now this season from a demand point of view with suppressed levels as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This article aims to cover a seasonal roundup of what has happened so far, as well as commentary on what December may hold for potato markets.

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Tong’s new MonstaFill box filler transforms throughput for UK grower

Two of the newest machines within Tong Engineering’s wide range of vegetable handling equipment are proving invaluable in transforming post-harvest operations for Hampshire-based potato grower, Whitewater Potatoes. Both the company’s mobile cleaning and loading powerhouse; the FieldLoad PRO, and high capacity MonstaFill box filler were launched as part of a suite of new product developments from Tong throughout 2019 and 2020, focussing on streamlining the handling process.

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Idaho Potato Commission launches media blitz to boost holiday potato sales

A survey conducted by the research firm Morning Consult found that 47% of families say they will cancel holiday get-togethers. What does this mean for potato sales? “We know that potatoes are the most popular side dish on the Thanksgiving table, and we don’t expect that to change,” explained Frank Muir, President & CEO, Idaho Potato Commission (IPC). “We anticipate that Idaho® potatoes will remain at the top of shoppers’ lists, regardless of the number of people at their gatherings.

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British potato market update

AHDB Analyst Thomma Shepherd reports in the latest Ptoato Weekly report that free-buy markets experienced a downturn in trade this week, with most overall demand met by contracted material. Markets have seen demand dampened by the coronavirus pandemic, with Christmas parties this year restricted by government guidelines. The processing trade has seen quieter levels of demand, with free-buy prices declining slightly from last week. Much of this demand is able to be met using contracted supplies.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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