Fresh/ Table

Potato trade positive in Ireland, demand picking up

Trade remains positive and reports from growers indicate that there is increased demand over the past week, the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) reported late this week. Although stocks remaining in store in Ireland are similar to last year’s levels, early plantings and harvest were staggered last year, which complimented the season.

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Consumer research: Shoppers willing to buy gene-edited food if they know its benefits

The FMI Foundation in partnership with the American Seed Trade Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and the Farm Foundation, today released a consumer research study measuring market potential for gene-edited products. The nationwide survey examined U.S. consumers beliefs, awareness, and understanding of gene editing in food and agriculture, and their willingness to pay for gene-edited foods as it pertains to fresh[Read More…]

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British potato industry urged to heed consistency at retail as sales drop

Inconsistency in the quality of standard 2.5kg retail packs of potatoes has been held responsible for a downward slide in main crop potato sales, reports Nancy Nicolson in The Courier. Speaking to the Scottish Society for Crop Research (SSCR) potato committee meeting, the technical director of Albert Bartlett Potatoes, Paddy Graham Jones suggested variability in the generic “white potato” product was responsible for the fall.

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Produce exposed: Is plastic-free produce the next frontier?

“Naked produce. No, it’s not a dodgy search term (though I wouldn’t even try Googling it, just in case); it’s the next new thing in supermarket shopping,” writes Niki Bezzant in her monthly blog, Potato Chat, for Potatoes New Zealand. Niki writes in the latest issue of the blog that Countdown supermarket chain is trialling a plastic-free produce section in[Read More…]

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Slim supplies continue on potatoes in North America, coronavirus influencing buyers and retailers

Potato supplies continue to be snug across North America, though how tight things are is still to be determined. “Supplies have been tight this season from the beginning,” says Ryan Wahlen of Pleasant Valley Potato in Aberdeen, ID. “I think [coronavirus] influencing the buyers a lot,” says Wahlen. “There are a few concerned who aren’t sure how heavy to carry an inventory of a perishable item. They’re worried about their work force being impacted.

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Potatoes USA considers effects of coronavirus on consumer behaviour

Tom Karst writes in The Packer today that the 2020 annual meeting of Potatoes USA proceeded as planned even as news was breaking that the NCAA decided to exclude fans from its annual post-season basketball tournament the coronavirus, COVID-19. Some potato marketers said that sales of dehydrated potato flakes have increased while foodservice fresh and frozen sales have dropped. Most said they don’t expect long-term changes in how people buy potatoes.

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World Potato Congress: ‘Africa could displace North America as the third largest potato producer’

The world’s potato production growth stagnated in 2018 and couldn’t recover in 2019, according to a recent statement by the World Potato Congress (WPC). It is said that in total, 368,247,000 tons were produced in 2018, according to FAO. Even so, it was the third-highest production after 2017 and 2014. FAO estimated that 158 countries for which it has data[Read More…]

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Convenience, sustainability, recyclable options driving latest potato packaging design

The challenge to creating a compelling package for potatoes is complex, because bags must protect product integrity while attracting a shopper’s attention, says Jeff Watkin, marketing director with Collinsville, Ill.-based packaging manufacturer Sev-Rend Inc. told The Packer magazine in a recent interview., One challenge Sev-Rend has met involves a bag that prevents greening and preserves the potatoes’ shelf life, he said.[Read More…]

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Potato season starts early in Majorca due to higher temperatures

The potato season has started much earlier than usual this year thanks to higher than average temperatures in Majorca between December and February. The Matthew Export company started collecting its Lady Christl variety on Wednesday and the first shipment will be on its way to the UK on Saturday. “Climate change is forcing us to adapt in many ways,” says Mateu Export’s Manager,[Read More…]

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US: Success with dollars and volume sales at retail, but russet, red sales down

IRI data for the calendar year 2019 (January through December 2019) showed success with dollars and volume sales for total potato sales at retail, Potatoes USA reports. Total dollar sales increased by 2.2% and volume increased by 0.4%. Potato chips, frozen potatoes, refrigerated potatoes, and dehydrated potatoes increased in sales volume. Refrigerated potatoes saw a 7.0% lift in dollar sales[Read More…]

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Ireland: Second lowest acreage of potatoes planted in 2019

The area of potatoes planted in Ireland in 2019 was the second lowest on record, after 2018, which was the lowest on record. There was also a further decrease in the plantings of traditional varieties such as Kerr’s Pink and Golden Wonders. Speaking at the recent National Potato conference in Dublin IFA president Tim Cullinan said farmers continue to be the[Read More…]

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Study finds its fine to eat a potato-a-day

Potatoes are the most commonly consumed vegetable in the U.S., yet they often get a bad rap. Most are eaten the form of fries or chips, so many people consider them an unhealthy food. It doesn’t have to be that way. Eating one medium-size potato a day can be part of a healthy diet and doesn’t increase cardiometabolic risk —[Read More…]

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Specialty, organic potatoes help expand sales

There’s more to the potato business than reds, whites and russets, marketers in the US say. Specialty varieties and organics are important parts of the product mix, they note. “We need to continue to explore varietals,” said Mike Hart, director of sales and marketing for Fryeburg, Maine-based Green Thumb Farms.  “When I look at the produce section as a whole and[Read More…]

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No small fry: New MountainKing merchandising program focuses on baby potatoes

As sales of baby Golds, Reds and Medley potatoes continue to climb, MountainKing is embarking on an aggressive program to provide its retail partners with turnkey, display-ready options aimed at driving sales of the smaller, pre-sized variety. “Small potatoes are under-promoted and under-merchandised,” says John Pope, MountainKing vice president of sales and marketing. “We’re working to change that narrative in[Read More…]

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Potatoes USA: Exports show strong growth

Exports of U.S. potatoes and products show strong growth through the first six months of the July 2019 – June 2020 marketing year, Potatoes USA says in a press release issued earlier today. According to the organization, exports of frozen potato products are up 11% to 551,338 metric tons valued at $643 million. Dehydrated potato exports are up 10% to[Read More…]

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Rough fall weather in the US leads to strong winter market for potatoes

Rough weather during the U.S. potato harvest last fall continues to shake up the markets well into 2020, marketers say. “Overall, the market is elevated due to several weather-related issues across the country during fall harvest,” said Rachel Atkinson-Leach, category and brand manager for Russet Potato Exchange Inc., Bancroft, Wis. Recent prices seemed to support that contention, with year-on-year prices[Read More…]

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Marais Group in France to introduce 'eco-responsible' packaging for Noirmoutier potatoes

The Marais Group, a producer, packer and shipper of fresh vegetables in France, announced that it will be introducing several innovations in the area of ‘eco-responsible’ packaging. The company says it will be using ‘eco-friendly’ wooden and cardboard packaging for the next Noirmoutier potato harvest at the end of February. According to a press release, the company changed packaging as[Read More…]

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Italian novelty products: Crunchy potatoes with zero residues

Two highly innovative Italian potato products are making their debut on the market – Zero Hero, the certified zero residue potato, and Fornatine, selected potatoes to be baked in the oven but crispy just like fried ones, FreshPlaza reports. These products have already aroused the interest of both Italian and foreign operators in the sector, as well as producers, buyers[Read More…]

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Belgian marketer: 'We must make potatoes sexier and more popular'

Potatoes have been becoming less popular for a while now. That is a shame, thinks Geoffrey Delbaere of the Belgian company, Warnez. “It is such a versatile, sustainable, healthy product. It should be considered a superfood. That is why it is important that we not let it fall by the wayside,” Geoffrey told FreshPlaza. “We must make potatoes sexier and[Read More…]

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16th International Berlin Potato Evening: 'We need to regain trust and talk to people proactively'

Almost 500 guests from more than 15 countries and around 200 companies and institutions took part in the 16th edition of the International Berlin Potato Evening this week, FreshPlaza reports. In addition to the regular regular guests, many new and especially young participants found their way to the ballroom of the Hilton Berlin to enjoy an evening dedicated entirely to[Read More…]

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Wilcox Fresh to roll out a new gold-fleshed russet potato variety

Wilcox Fresh in Rexburg, Idaho, is rolling out a new potato variety, a gold-fleshed russet, which the company plans to feature at the Southeast Produce Council’s Southern Exposure 2020 expo in Tampa, The Produce News reports. “We have a new variety of potato we are marketing,” said Derek Peterson, vice president of sales and marketing at Wilcox. “On the outside,[Read More…]

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US potato market specialist: '2019 could be a year to remember'

2019 could end up being a year that Idaho potato growers talk about for a long time. “This is going to be a year to remember,” Bruce Huffaker, president of North American Potato Market News, said Dec. 10 during University of Idaho’s “Idaho Ag Outlook Seminar.” Potato production in Idaho and around the U.S. is down this year and that[Read More…]

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Potato prices in Ireland: Drop in some varieties

Potato prices have fallen back in the past week according to the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) Potato Market Report for February 6. The average price being paid for a 10kg bag of Roosters and a 10kg bag of Kerr’s Pinks has fallen by 30c and 25c respectively in the past two weeks. The average price for boxes of Roosters and[Read More…]

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Wada Farms sees some of the best quality Colorado potatoes ever

Five months into the shipping season, Michele Peterson, who heads the Colorado sales office of Idaho Falls-based Wada Farms Marketing Group, was seeing the quality of the 2019 potato harvest in Colorado’s San Luis Valley measure up to her expectations. On Aug. 15, one week before the anticipated start date, Peterson told The Produce News that based on test digs “the quality[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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