New Zealand, Australia

Navigating the future of food: Wyma publishes a definitive guide to sustainable agriculture

Wyma’s guide on sustainable agriculture emphasizes reducing waste, conserving water, and optimizing land use to meet the growing food demand and counteract climate change. The guide aligns with UN Sustainable Development Goals, advocating for efficient water and resource management, waste minimization, and biodiversity preservation to ensure a sustainable future for food production.

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Heartland Potato Chips: A New Zealand success story revisited

Heartland Potato Chips, founded by the Bowan family in 2012, is a testament to local enterprise succeeding in the global market. They produce locally sourced chips using sustainable methods and innovative flavors that reflect New Zealand tastes. As the country’s sole New Zealand-owned chip maker, Heartland’s sunflower oil and eco-friendly practices appeal to quality and ethically-conscious consumers, embodying New Zealand’s agricultural and entrepreneurial spirit.

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Leading potato pathologist the first recipient of Potatoes Australia’s Ross Trimboli Award

Dr Nigel Crump received the inaugural Ross Trimboli Award for Industry Leadership and Advocacy at the World Potato Congress Gala Dinner. Named after South Australian industry stalwart Ross Trimboli, the award honors Dr Crump’s 20-year dedication to the Australian potato industry. He leads partnerships, combats food insecurity, and oversees seed potato certification. He is also Interim Chair of industry organisation Potatoes Australia Inc, the host of the Congress.

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Global Potato Industry Award winners announced at the 12th World Potato Congress in Adelaide, Australia

On June 25, following the 12th World Potato Congress in Adelaide, Australia, an Industry Award Ceremony was held to honor nine individuals for their contributions to the potato industry. The awards, presented by WPC President Dr. Peter VanderZaag at a Gala Dinner, recognized recipients from various countries, including Nelio Campelio (Philippines), Walter Davidson (Canada), Abd-Allah Md Dhaif-Allah (Yemen), and others.

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Innovation in action: Australian farmers embrace innovative nitrogen alternative to boost yields and cut pollution

Australian farmers are turning to Lono, an innovative fertiliser by Levity Crop Science, to enhance sustainability and crop yields. Extensively trialed over two years, Lono provides stabilised amine nitrogen, improving plant growth and reducing pollution. Farmers report significant benefits, including higher yields and better soil quality. Lono’s success has driven high demand among growers, making it a key part of their agricultural practices.

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Aussie potato growers first in world to access new fungicide to fight soil borne disease black scurf

Australian potato farmers are first globally to access Excalia, a new fungicide developed by Sumitomo Chemical Australia to combat Rhizoctonia solani. Launched in Melbourne, Excalia will be showcased at the 12th World Potato Congress in Adelaide. Sumitomo’s marketing manager Jock Leys highlighted its success in trials, improving yield and return on investment. The collaboration with Elders aims to ensure smooth distribution. Sumitomo will also introduce biostimulant products at the event.

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Wyma champions sustainability in global food production with new comprehensive guide

Wyma, a leader in post-harvest equipment, released a sustainability guide highlighting the urgent need for innovative and efficient food production to address global challenges such as climate change and resource scarcity. By 2050, with an expected 35% population increase, food production must double. The guide emphasizes the importance of aligning with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and underscores key strategies, including water conservation, handling and processing improvements, and sustainable land use, for a sustainable future.

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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 industry reaffirms trust in Potatoes New Zealand with overwhelming levy support

In an overwhelming endorsement, 94.74% of voting New Zealand potato growers supported continuing the potato levy, administered by Potatoes New Zealand (PNZ), for another six years. This approval represents 95.83% of the previous season’s gross sales. Voter participation increased significantly to 54.68%. PNZ officials expressed their commitment to addressing industry challenges and advancing growers’ interests, reiterating the organization’s vital role in advocacy and government liaisons.

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WPC24 welcomes climate advocate Dr. Anika Molesworth as Ambassador and radio icon Leith Forrest as MC

The World Potato Congress 2024 announced Dr. Anika Molesworth as the WPC24 Ambassador and Leith Forrest as the Congress MC for their upcoming event in Adelaide from June 23-26. Molesworth, a renowned agriculture and climate advocate, will deliver a keynote on sustainable agriculture. Forrest, celebrated for his radio work and charity involvement, will engage attendees with his expertise and community commitment. The Congress aims to enhance global discussion on sustainable potato farming and climate solutions.

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Tayler Farms: A legacy of dedication and quality in New Zealand’s potato industry

Nick Tayler continues the legacy of his family’s potato farm in New Zealand, as showcased in Copper Kettle Chips’ “Meet our Farmers” series. Starting in the 1960s, the farm’s partnership with Copper Kettle is grounded in a commitment to quality and integrity. Nick and his family, including staff seen as family, face challenges like weather and pests, but find profound satisfaction in their high-quality produce. Nick’s deep connection to his produce extends beyond farming, celebrating the enjoyment of his potatoes at social gatherings.

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‘Leading the charge’: Potatoes New Zealand’s strategic impact on industry excellence

Potatoes New Zealand is leading advancements in the potato industry through initiatives in research, sustainability, and education. It fosters industry growth by addressing challenges, communicating achievements, and advocating for growers in government interactions. Commitment to quality and safety in seed production is evident, as well as creating awareness through resources and media engagement. Strategic planning ensures its continued direction and industry engagement.

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Elders Ltd celebrates 185 years with landmark sponsorship of World Potato Congress in Adelaide

Elders Ltd, an Australian agricultural services company and certified seed potato supplier, has announced its major sponsorship of the 2024 World Potato Congress in Adelaide. Celebrating 185 years, Elders aims to foster innovation and sustainable practices through support of this key industry event. The Congress will focus on global industry trends, including changing markets and customer preferences. Elders invites industry stakeholders to participate in the event for valuable knowledge sharing and networking.

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New Zealand mourns the loss of ‘Spud King’ Allan Pye at 83

New Zealand’s ‘Spud King’, Allan Pye, has died at 83, leaving a legacy in potato farming. Rising from a modest start, he transformed national agricultural practices, introducing center-pivot irrigation and building businesses in various industries worth about $1 billion. Despite massive success, he found joy in daily farming. Pye is remembered by his family, including 15 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

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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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‘Trailblazers in the Field’: The female forces shaping New Zealand’s potato industry

On International Women’s Day, Potatoes New Zealand highlighted the pivotal roles of women in the potato sector. Paula Lleras, Emma Lees, and Kate Trufitt were featured for their unique expertise and impacts on the industry, from database management and inspection to HR and leadership roles. These stories showcase the crucial contributions and inspirational effect women have in agriculture, promoting diversity and innovation.

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Celebrating women in the potato industry: The inspirational stories of New Zealand’s Michelle Pye and Tracey McKay

On International Women’s Day on March 8, we honor Michelle Pye and Tracey McKay for their leadership in New Zealand’s potato industry. Pye excels in multifaceted roles, including directorships and council positions, prioritizing inclusivity and diversity. McKay, co-owner of Alps Seeds Ltd, innovates in seed potato production. Both faced challenges but persevere, inspiring women to engage in agriculture’s diverse opportunities. Their stories embody the empowerment of women and their critical influence in shaping the future of the global potato industry.

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Empowering international delegates: World Potato Congress 2024 offers support for attendees from Asia, South America, and Africa

The World Potato Congress Inc. (WPC) is dedicated to supporting FAO Sustainability Goals through its “Declaration of Dublin,” enhancing global potato industry collaboration. To facilitate this, the WPC, with its partners, is sponsoring 20 delegates from diverse regions to attend its Congress in Australia, offering financial support for attendance, lodging, and travel. This initiative underlines the WPC’s commitment to creating a global platform for sustainable agricultural progress and food security.

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Australia’s potato industry surpasses $1 billion in production value for the first time

Australia’s potato industry has exceeded a $1 billion production value, marking a 24% increase from the previous year. This milestone is attributed to investments in automation and innovation. Annual production remains steady at 1.4 million tonnes. The significant growth, as detailed by ABC Landline, suggests strong and sustained demand, echoed by the experiences of growers like Michael Smith.

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Leading the charge: Ms. Robbie Davis announced as Ambassador for the 2024 World Potato Congress

Potatoes Australia Ltd. has named Ms. Robbie Davis as the official Ambassador for the 12th World Potato Congress in Adelaide, 2024. Ms. Davis, with her extensive industry background, including a previous CEO role and board directorships, will leverage her expertise to promote the event. Her responsibilities include advocacy, industry engagement, and media relations. Her aim is to foster unity and innovation within the international potato community at the Congress.

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The fragile fate of Aussie spuds: Battling climate and another threat of shortage

Australia faces another potential potato shortage, just a year after the last crisis. Potato grower Terry Buckley highlights the industry’s susceptibility to extreme weather, with optimal growing temperatures between 20-30°C. Climatologists predict more heatwaves, intensifying the challenge. The industry, constrained by strict cultivation contracts and high production costs, considers exports as a buffer against domestic volatility, highlighting the precarious nature of agricultural sustainability amidst climate change.

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World Potato Congress Inc. calls for nominations for prestigious Industry Awards

Dr. Peter VanderZaag of the World Potato Congress Inc. (WPC) has announced the opening of nominations for the 2024 Industry Awards, recognizing lifetime achievements in the potato sector. Nominations require a 250-word justification and contact details, submitted by March 27, 2024, to the WPC Executive Director. Nomination submissions is set for the close of business on March 27, 2024. Recipients will be announced at the upcoming World Potato Congress in Australia in June 2024.

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McCain Foods donates 100,000 meals to Foodbank Australia

In a gesture of community aid amidst rising food insecurity McCain Foods partnered with nonprofit Foodbank Australia to donate around 100,000 meals. The meals were prepared at the company’s Wendouree-based factory, dedicating its full production line to the effort for a day. Ross Fallon, McCain Foods’ supply chain director, highlighted the growing need for such support, while Foodbank Victoria’s CEO, Dave McNamara, urged other food manufacturers to follow suit.

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‘Sorry, but not all hash browns are created equal’: The Australian frozen hash brown showdown

The Guardian’s Nicholas Jordan taste tested Australian frozen hash browns. He crowned Birds Eye Potato Gems as the top choice for their ideal crunch and flavor. Birds Eye also offered the best value, while McCain’s Quick Cook impressed with speed. Variations in crunchiness and flavor, like the farm-scented Seasons Pride and the inedible Strong Roots, highlighted the importance of texture in frozen potato products. This taste test revealed that not all hash browns are created equal…

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Chemotherapy, thermotherapy and cryotherapy: New Zealand scientists unveil innovative methods to eradicate PVS, PVA, and PVM viruses

New Zealand scientists have developed a groundbreaking method to eradicate Potato Virus S (PVS), Potato Virus A (PVA), and Potato Virus M (PVM) from in vitro-grown potato shoots. The study, published in “Frontiers in Plant Science,” revealed that combining chemotherapy and cryotherapy was highly effective in producing virus-free potato plants. This advancement is vital for the potato industry, ensuring a supply of healthy planting material. The findings address New Zealand’s plant biosecurity concerns and have global implications for potato farming.

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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