Organizations in the News

Urgent call for more residue data to keep UK potato stores operational

The UK potato industry is at risk due to residual Chlorpropham (CIPC) contamination in potato stores. A temporary Maximum Residue Level (tMRL) of 0.35 mg/kg has been set by the Chemicals Regulation Division (CRD). To maintain this tMRL, the industry must provide annual residue data. Growers must submit data to the CIPC Residue Monitoring Group (CRMG) to avoid stricter limits and potential storage losses.

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Unlocking solutions: Final PCN Open Day set to showcase cutting-edge research and innovations

The final PCN Open Day by PCN Action Scotland is scheduled for August 7th, 2024, at Barnyards Farm, Tannadice, Angus. The event, essential for addressing potato cyst nematodes (PCN), includes sessions on potato variety resistance trials, oil radish trials, decision support updates, policy discussions with SASA, and live sprayer demonstrations. Two identical sessions will run from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM.

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Driving potato purchases: Key consumer insights revealed in new Potatoes USA study

The ‘Potato Path to Purchase’ study by Potatoes USA, conducted by Nielsen IQ, reveals how consumer behavior and purchase patterns for potatoes are influenced by various factors. Key findings show that 90% of potato purchases are pre-planned, with freshness/quality, price, and quantity as top factors. Retailers can boost sales by focusing on quality, transparent packaging, and eye-catching displays. Pre-shopping factors like meal planning and promotions significantly impact purchasing decisions.

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Tight stocks and weather challenges impact Irish and European potato markets

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) reports steady potato demand despite cold, wet weather. New season varieties are slowly hitting the market, but stocks remain tight for another two weeks. Early-planted varieties saw yield reductions due to weather. European factories face delays in new season crops, particularly in Belgium. Despite challenges, some early table varieties are being harvested, and prices have stayed stable.

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Joint letter calls on next government to secure future of British food

Ahead of the general election, the UK’s food and drink supply chain, represented by the NFU, British Retail Consortium, UK Hospitality, and the Food and Drink Federation, urges party leaders to prioritize food security policies. They highlight the sector’s economic importance, employing 7.7 million people and contributing over £240bn. Despite challenges like Covid-19 and geopolitical instability, the supply chain demands urgent attention to ensure resilient systems and safeguard national security.

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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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Be part of change: NAPSO seeks visionary leaders in the industry to join its Central Committee

The North America Potato Storage Organization (NAPSO) is seeking representatives from various sectors of the potato industry for its Central Committee. This committee will lead initiatives to improve potato storage, enhance quality, reduce waste, and optimize energy use, ultimately benefiting sustainability and profitability. NAPSO aims to include diverse members from both the United States and Canada to foster regional collaboration. Interested parties should contact Communications Coordinator Emily Merk.

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Potato alarm: NFU calls for action to save the great British potato

The UK’s National Farmers Union (NFU) warns that extreme weather, rising input costs, and trade issues threaten the future of British potatoes, a beloved food staple. Potato growers face production delays due to adverse weather and high costs, risking future supply. The NFU urges the government to implement policies to ensure water access, protect against pests, and allocate a robust agricultural budget. The decrease in grower confidence and reliance on risky imports compounds the crisis.

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Potato market update: Strong demand and robust consumption in Ireland, European planting woes amidst weather issues

The latest potato market report from the Irish Farmers Association highlights the robust demand and tight stocks in Ireland, driven by unseasonably cool weather. Despite some new crops entering the market, quantities remain low, increasing demand for available stock. Quality issues like splits and cracks have also emerged. In Europe, planting progress varies, with delays and weather challenges impacting crop establishment, particularly in Belgium and the Netherlands.

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Europatat Activity Report 2023-2024 highlights unprecedented challenges and key achievements in the potato sector

The Europatat Annual Report 2023 highlights significant activities, achievements, and challenges of the European potato trade sector. Facing market turbulence due to legal changes, conflicts, and environmental factors, Europatat demonstrated resilience and adaptability. The report emphasizes strategic collaborations, policy advocacy, and efforts to promote fresh potatoes. Sustainability initiatives and research on potato stress resilience also feature prominently. The 2024 Congress in Brussels will address future sector challenges.

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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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Europatat Congress 2024 unites industry leaders to shape the future of potato trade

The Europatat Congress 2024 took place in Brussels on 23 and 24 May, gathering over 100 participants from various countries. The event featured internal meetings for Europatat members, discussions with legislators, and a public conference on the future of potato trade. Key topics included plant health, food safety, and sustainability. Notable presentations were given by external speakers and project researchers.

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Pioneering the future of potato storage: North America Potato Storage Organization gears up for first virtual meeting

The North America Potato Storage Summit (NAPSS) will hold its inaugural virtual meeting on June 17, 2024, focusing on revolutionizing potato storage practices. The agenda includes introductions, anti-trust guidelines, team ground rules, and the formation of sub-committees. Future plans involve an in-person meeting during the 2024 Potato Association of America event. NAPSS aims to enhance potato storage solutions, profitability, and sustainability in North America through collaboration and innovation.

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EU potato sector confronts late blight threat: Copa-Cogeca unveils comprehensive action plan

Europe’s leading farming organizations, Copa and Cogeca, are raising concerns about the re-emergence of potato late blight, a serious threat to European potato production. They have proposed an action plan, supported by several other EU farming organizations, to address this issue, emphasizing the need for effective plant protection products, resistant varieties, and improved agricultural practices. The plan includes developing coordinated measures with various stakeholders and increasing awareness among EU institutions to ensure effective control strategies.

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International Day of Potato: At inaugural celebration, FAO highlights crop’s significance and further potential

The potato, eaten by over a billion people, is the third most available food crop globally. It was celebrated with its first International Day, recognizing its significance. FAO highlighted the potato’s role in food security, calling for investment in its potential. Emphasis was placed on genetic diversity, climate resilience, and economic opportunities for farmers, with initiatives supporting value chains and sustainable practices.

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Potato storage breakthroughs: Innovative solutions from the North America Potato Storage Summit

A dedicated group of potato industry leaders is organizing the first North America Potato Storage Summit, focused on optimizing storage practices to reduce waste and enhance profitability. The Summit aims to bridge traditional and modern storage methods, share best practices, and promote sustainability. Interested individuals can join the Central Committee to shape the event’s agenda, with meetings scheduled for June 17 and July 23, 2024. For more information, visit www.napotatostoragesummit.org, and get in touch with Emily Merk on info@napotatostoragesummit.org.

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Potato crop walks get underway in Ireland as blight cases emerge

Teagasc will host three potato crop walks this week to address emerging blight cases and the new EU43 blight strain in Ireland, beginning May 29 in Co. Meath. These events will provide growers with updated guidelines on blight control and strategies for the upcoming year. Shay Phelan emphasized the seriousness of the EU43 strain, which has posed significant challenges in Europe, necessitating robust new disease control programs.

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EWRN Workshop: Global experts unite to tackle wireworm challenges in potato production

The European Wireworm Research Network (EWRN) will host a workshop on July 7th at the Scandic Fornebu Hotel in Oslo, Norway, focusing on wireworm infestations in potato crops. Keynotes include experts discussing management, challenges, and risk assessment. Country updates and scientific posters will be presented, and participants will engage in collaborative discussions. This event aims to unite researchers and professionals in addressing wireworm issues.

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International Potato Day: Celebrating diversity, nutrition, sustainability and hope in a global staple crop

The International Potato Day, to be first celebrated on May 30th following a UN resolution, honours the potato’s versatility and significance as a staple food. The German Potato Industry, employing 110,000 people, is the largest EU producer with 264,700 hectares of cultivation. Potatoes are rich in nutrients, highly versatile in cooking, resilient, and sustainable. The event underscores their role in global nutrition, food security, and reducing ecological footprints, according to a recent press release issued jointly by German potato organizations UNIKA and DKHV.

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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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Leadership change at the UK Potato Processors Association: John Sedgwick takes helm as Chair

John Sedgwick has been appointed as the new Board Chair of the UK Potato Processors’ Association (PPA), taking over from Dan Hewitt. With extensive experience in the potato industry, Sedgwick aims to address the sector’s challenges such as supply chain issues and economic pressures. The PPA plans to enhance its profile and showcase the benefits of its membership amidst these challenges. Sedgwick’s leadership is welcomed by PPA’s Director General, Andrew Curtis, highlighting Sedgwick’s well-recognized role within the sector.

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As the EU stalls, leading plant breeder warns that England must not let precision breeding opportunity slip

Nigel Moore highlights Britain’s opportunity to lead in plant breeding due to delays in the EU’s gene editing advancements. He expresses concerns over potential restrictive measures in the Precision Breeding Act’s secondary legislation, which may hinder the UK’s progress in agricultural innovation. Moore discusses the act’s attractiveness to investors and significant potential applications, such as enhanced crop yields. One potential application baby potatoes with ‘bunched’ root architecture which allow almost three times as many tubers to be produced from the same area of farmland.

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Ireland and Europe face challenges in potato planting due to unpredictable weather

This week, potato farmers in Ireland and Europe face significant challenges due to erratic weather, affecting planting and crop progress as reported by the IFA. In Ireland, brief dry spells were insufficient for sustaining continuous planting, leading to potential supply issues in summer. Similar issues are observed across Europe, with France and neighboring countries experiencing severe planting delays. The IFA stresses the importance of strategic planning to mitigate weather impacts on agriculture.

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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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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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