Organizations in the News

Retail consumers in the U.S. spent more on potatoes

Potatoes USA says in its latest monthly newsletter that potato retail sales increased in dollar sales but decreased in volume sales from July 2021 – June 2022, compared to the same timeframe a year ago. As consumer prices increased by 10.5%, retail dollar sales increased by 5.7%. The total volume sales decreased 4.4% from the same time a year ago, but they remained above volume sales prior to the pandemic. Dollar sales have continuously increased over the last five years.

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Potatoes USA: Spud Lab ‘impresses restaurant chefs’

Members of the Global Culinary Innovators Association (GCIA) learned about potato trends and witnessed a culinary demonstration at the Potatoes USA Spud Lab in late August. While visiting the Potatoes USA Spud Lab during their event, they received an overview of potato trends in foodservice and useful resources about potatoes.

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NEPG: Potato production down due to climate change, quality and storage problems expected

The North Western European Potato Growers (NEPG) estimates that potato production in the NEPG zone (EU-04) countries will on average be down by between 7 and 11 percent, with Belgian and French farmers most affected. The heat waves experienced in Europe throughout the summer would also have caused some quality and storage issues. With very much higher input costs and higher risks linked to climate change and the war in Ukraine, there is uncertainty about the 2023 season.

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UK’s new seed potato organisation ‘quietly making progress’

Development of the UK’s new Seed Potato Organisation is ‘quietly making progress’ and it will be launching in the next few months, as Gordon Davidson, News & Online Editor for The Scottish Farmer, reports. Following a packed-out session at the Potatoes in Practice event, a co-operative is now formally being set up to support the British seed potato sector.

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Potatoes USA: Retail sales of potatoes increased in dollar value April – June 2022

Potato retail sales increased in dollar sales and decreased slightly in volume from April – June 2022, compared to the same period in 2021, according to Potatoes USA. The industry body says as prices increased by 13.6%, dollar sales increased by 12.6%. The three categories that comprise the largest percentage of volume sales, which include potato chips, frozen potatoes, and fresh potatoes, all grew in dollar sales but fell slightly in volume sales.

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In Memoriam: A tribute to Dr. Barbara H. Wells, Director General, International Potato Center

“The unexpected passing of Dr. Barbara Wells in February 2022 was a blow to everyone at CIP and across the CGIAR and our partner organizations,” writes Dr. Oscar Ortiz, interim Director General of CIP in this memoriam article, published in CIP’s Annual Report for 2021. “From the hallways of CIP headquarters in Lima, Peru to the field site of the most remote CIP and CGIAR science team, Barbara was liked and respected by all. Her presence will be greatly missed.”

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CIP’s Annual Report 2021 ‘From lab to field to scale’ now available online

The Lima-based International Potato Center’s (CIP) work to reduce hunger and malnutrition, boost farmer resilience, and catalyze income improvements generated benefits for men and women in more than 30 countries last year. To communicate some of those achievements and give people a sense of how CIP harnesses science to improve lives and livelihoods, the organization included varied examples in CIP’s Annual Report 2021: From lab to field to scale, which is now available online.

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Report: Sharp rise in input costs, increased holding levels impacting planted potato acreage in Canada

Earlier this month Statistics Canada released their first estimate of potato acreage in Canada as a result of data obtained from their survey of potato growers in Canada. The 2022 potato acreage is estimated at 385,128 acres. This is almost flat compared to 2021, only 242 acres more. Significant rises in input costs – fertilizer and fuel predominantly – coupled with increased holding levels in some of the Eastern provinces, impacted seeded acreage in 2022.

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Careers devoted to potato research and innovation: EAPR awards Mike Storey and Kazimiera Zgórska

The European Association for Potato Research (EAPR) Council has awarded two honorary memberships to celebrate people with outstanding achievements in potato research and significant contributions to the association. Two new honorary members were announced on 7th of July 2022, during the conference dinner of 21st Triennial Conference of EAPR in the Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland: Mike Storey and Kazimiera Zgórska.

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Gregory Porter awarded Honorary Life Membership by the Potato Association of America

Gregory Porter, professor of agronomy in the University of Maine School of Food and Agriculture, will receive an Honorary Life Membership from the Potato Association of America (PAA) at the organization’s annual meeting in July 2022. An Honorary Life Membership Award, the highest honor bestowed by PAA, recognizes exceptional contributions to the potato industry. Porter has been a member of PAA since 1981, and served as vice president, president elect and president.

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World Potato Congress Inc announces new President and Vice-President

Following 16 years of dedicated service to the World Potato Congress Inc.’s Board of Directors, and the past four years as President, Romain Cools has decided to retire from WPC and effective July 1, 2022 he is stepping down as President and CEO of the World Potato Congress (WPC) Inc. Mr. Cools has announced Mr. John Griffin will become the new President and CEO of the World Potato Congress (WPC) Inc.

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Europatat pays tribute to outgoing President Gilles Fontaine

June marks the end of the Europatat Presidency for Mr Gilles Fontaine, who joined the Europatat Board in 2014 as Treasurer and became President in 2018. Throughout these years, Mr Fontaine played an outstanding role in shaping Europatat on several fronts. His presidency was characterised by innovative ideas, strategic thinking and, most valuable, his relentless efforts to increase the visibility and representation of Europatat both at national and international levels.

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Europatat announces new Strategy 2022 – 2025

On 30 May 2022, the Europatat membership gathered in Dublin where they approved a new vision and mission for Europatat, as well as the key fields of action and priorities for the next three years (2022-2025) to achieve progress in all of the major objectives of the Association.

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Europatat celebrates 70th Anniversary, elects new President, and approves Strategic Plan for 2022-2025

During the World Potato Congress event in Dublin last week, Europatat, the European Potato Trade Association, held its first in-person General Assembly meeting since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. More than 90 delegates from 21 countries celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the association, and elected a new Board to lead the association for the coming years, welcoming Mr. Tigran Richter as the new President. Europatat members also approved a new Strategy for the period 2022-2025.

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World Potato Congress Inc. launches the Declaration of Dublin to advance UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 through the potato

On the last day of the 11th World Potato Congress (WPC) in Dublin, Ireland, WPC President Romain Cools, called in the WPC Declaration of Dublin upon the global potato value chain to invest in ‘potato solutions’ to advance the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. In his opening address, the WPC President concluded that local food production in general and potatoes more specifically must be intensified to assure food security and reduce dependency from international trade.

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IFA National Potato Chairman: €3m for seed potato sector positive step

IFA National Potato Chairman Sean Ryan said the recent announcement of the €3m scheme for the seed potato sector is a positive first step. The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) met with the Minister earlier this year and have continued to engage with senior Department officials on funding and support options for the development of the potato sector. The area of seed potato crops for certification in Ireland increased to 299 hectares in 2021.  This figure will need to double for domestic demand.

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On the path to stress-tolerant potatoes

A good source of fibre and full of antioxidants, the potato is one of the most important food crops in the world – a crop that climate change is taking its toll on. How do different potatoes respond to heat, drought and waterlogging stresses? EU-backed scientists are investigating the changes that make potatoes resilient or susceptible.

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North-Western European Potato Growers elects new Chairman

During the last NEPG meeting in Gembloux, the first elected chairman of the organization, Jaap Botma from Friesland in The Netherlands, was replaced by Frenchman Geoffroy d’Evry. He will serve a term of two years. Geoffroy d’Evry is an arable farmer north of Paris and produces potatoes for the starch, crisping, and chipping industries, and is president of the UNPT (Union Nationale des Producteurs de Pommes de Terre).

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NPC CEO: ‘U.S. potato growers focus on the future with 2022 Policy Agenda’

Potato growers from across the country joined the National Potato Council (NPC) in DC during a tumultuous time for the industry during this year’s Washington Summit (Feb. 18 to March 2). “The impact of inflation on consumer goods and ag inputs, trade disputes with important industry partners, and the war in Ukraine were all on our minds as we sat down to set our policy agenda for 2022,” writes Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council, in this article.

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United Potato Growers of Canada hires new General Manager

United Potato Growers of Canada has hired a new General Manager – Victoria Stamper, of Mascouche, Quebec, a community just north of Montreal. Victoria will join United in this senior role effective Monday, April 25th. She replaces outgoing General Manager, Kevin MacIsaac, who announced his retirement from the organization earlier in the year.

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U.S. potato industry sustainability: ‘Learning, creating, and telling our story’

Sustainability and climate change continue to be a part of the conversation, both in policy discussions and within the potato supply chain. During Potato Expo 2022, the hosts of the National Potato Council’s Eye on Potatoes Podcast sat down with two of the industry’s sustainability leaders who are working to ensure the potato industry remains at the front of agriculture’s sustainability success story.

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GB Potatoes: New grower controlled industry body moves closer to becoming reality

GB Potatoes, the proposed new grower controlled industry body, has moved closer to becoming a reality by appointing a working group of nine stakeholders. GB Potatoes, which has been set up following the demise of AHDB Potatoes, will cover similar areas of research and markets with the intention of leverage funding including the driving of innovation.

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Potatoes USA elects 2022 – 2023 leadership

Potatoes USA, the marketing and promotion board for the potato industry, elected new leadership during its Annual Meeting on March 9, 2022. The newly elected Chairman and Executive Committee will lead the Board through 2022-2023. Jason Davenport of Bakersfield, California was elected as Chairman of the Board. This marks Davenport’s sixth year on the Board and as a member of the Executive Committee.

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