The UK’s £1bn potato growing sector has been hit so hard by extreme weather and coronavirus that its largest customer is stepping in with £25m of support to secure its supply chain. The hardest hit growers have been those who sell in the spot market rather than under contract, such as those selling for “fresh chipping” on the premises of food outlets. McCain, which buys about 15 per cent of the UK’s annual potato crop, normally has one-year contracts with growers. But as part of the £25m investment it will put in place a three-to-five-year loyalty scheme so farmers can be assured of their market.
Before a federal judge could decide whether it was fraud to call a snack “potato skins,” the remaining sides in a proposed class action lawsuit have settled. Troncoso’s lawsuit said the snack contained no potato skins, only potato flakes. She said because of the packaging and because TGI Friday’s sells a potato skin appetizer at its restaurants, she was led to believe the snacks would contain real potato skins.
PepsiCo India has decided to increase its investment from Rs 500 crore to Rs 800 crore [approx 106,6 mil USD] in Uttar Pradesh state. This would provide direct and indirect employment to over 1500 people in the state. Siddharth Kalhans of Business Standard reports. The UP MSME and export promotion minister Siddharth Nath Singh said that earlier PepsiCo was to invest Rs 500 crore [approx 66,7 mil USD] in the potato chips plant at Mathura – which has been increased now.
NPC targets Belgium and The Netherlands in its support for US tariff action against EU frozen fry imports
In late July, the National Potato Council (NPC) in the US sent a letter to the General Counsel at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), saying it “strongly supports USTR tariff action against EU frozen fries.” In the letter, NPC says in order to ensure the action is an appropriate enforcement mechanism, it is critically important that such action be broadened to include frozen fries from Belgium and the Netherlands, in addition to those countries already outlined.
An agreement reached earlier this spring that would have seen Cavendish Farms receive $4.7 million from Prince Edward Island taxpayers to help store and transport processing potatoes will not be activated due to an uptake in restaurant sales. When the PEI deal was finalized in March, there were approximately 100 million pounds of processing potatoes in storage. Figures released by United Potato Growers of Canada in mid-July showed that figure had been reduced to 3,725 hundredweight (417,000 pounds).
In a press release issued today, the company says completing construction and commissioning a $37 million plant upgrade, managing staff to continue operations in the middle of Tasmania’s COVID-19 hotspot, and navigating ever-changing shift profiles – it’s been a challenging six months for McCain Foods’ Smithton plant. As one of the region’s largest employers, McCain Foods has officially “come out on the other side” with the site’s production recently returning to a full seven-day roster.
Three well-known companies in the potato industry, three identities, one brand. Idaho Steel, Reyco and Kiremko have been strategic partners for decades. In a press release, the companies say: “We believe in the success of partnerships, with our combined teams we share our know-how. This collaboration is unique and ensures that we can serve the entire world market with state-of-the-art potato processing lines. With production facilities in the Netherlands and the US, we are able to deliver the same quality of innovative equipment to virtually any location.
In a Twitter tweet today, the Ronald McDonald House Charities says: “We are truly grateful for the support of McCain, an @RMHCCanada National Partner, and an incredible supporter of our mission to help keep families with a sick or injured child together and near the medical care their child needs. When families learn their child is sick and must be hospitalized, life as they know it changes overnight. Families embark on what is an often unexpected and difficult journey full of uncertainty, worry, fear and hope RMHC says on its website.
A local potato processing plant that reported several COVID-19 cases to Oregon Health Authority is back in full operation, with all employees recovered and back on the job. Wong Potatoes reported five cases among employees of the business on April 20, one of the first locations in the state to have multiple cases. Owner Dan Chin temporarily closed the operation, which employs 40 people, to contain the spread of the virus. But now three months later, the plant is currently open and operating, despite a difficult water year.
The potato industry in Australia is now in a state of ‘high alert’ for any potential French fries dumping activity from the EU, highlighting its chief concerns as price plummeting and farmer welfare after a tough season. The alert was raised after the European Union (EU) recently passed an EUR650mn (US$741.1/A$1.1.mn) COVID-19 government assistance scheme that would enable EU firms to export their processed potatoes cheaply Down Under, where before it had never been a common avenue.
Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. announced in a press release today its fiscal fourth quarter and full year 2020 results and provided a business update for the first quarter of fiscal 2021. “The final months of fiscal 2020 were some of the most challenging in our Company’s history,” said Tom Werner, President and CEO.
Major potato processor Lamb Weston and global quick service restaurant chain McDonald’s saw sales fall significantly in the three months to the end of June, but it could have been much worse. There are also some signs of a recovery in restaurant fry sales, although fears over coronavirus remain, according to Cedric Porter, editor of weekly market briefing World Potato Markets. Lamb Weston’s sales were 16% lower in the quarter than the same period last year, with demand from foodservice distributors and smaller restaurant the most affected.
Potato Agro is a Ukrainian based potato producing company that also markets potatoes under the brand name Bestpotato. According to a report by Potato System, the company is planning build its own processing plant next year. Konstantin Sarnatsky, Business Lead & CEO of Potato Agro, is quoted as saying that “this will be the first, or one of the very first factories for the production of french fries in the Ukraine.”
Lay’s potato chips have been satisfying salty snack cravings for over 75 years. Although you may be familiar with the taste of Lay’s and its many flavors, there are some things you probably didn’t know about Lay’s potato chips, writes Tiana Attride in an article published by Business Insider.
McCain Foods announced last week a commitment to improving the sustainability of our products, including the iconic French Fry, with a key focus on creating a more sustainable approach to potato farming. Key to this commitment is building three Farms of the Future to showcase how regenerative farming practices and the latest agricultural technology and innovations, can be implemented at scale. In partnership with leading academics and suppliers, each will focus on demonstrating that more sustainable practices can also create a more financially viable future for farming, while at the same time increasing food production.
KFC is reportedly working hard to win the love of fans of its former potato wedges over to its newly launched Secret Recipe fries. As QSRweb recently reported, more than a few folks on social media expressed their objections to the brand’s fry refresh, professing true love only to the longtime potato wedges that have been removed from the QSR’s menu. Now, the brand is hoping its National Fry Day promotion of the new Secret Recipe fries on Monday, July 13, will win those wedge-woed hearts over to the new, more slender slivers, according.
“Maybe it’s my DNA, my Irish roots, but I love potatoes. Agria, Red Rascals, Ilam Hardy…spuds rock. Christmas wouldn’t be complete without Oamaru Jersey Bennies. Our one billion dollar potato industry is a relatively intimate one, employing around five thousand people, in growing and processing. With year round harvesting, it’s a stable employer. And the industry deserves a fair go.” So said New Zealander Mike Yardley on the Mike Hosking breakfast show this morning.
Although chips and cannabis are often considered the ultimate combination, the pairing resulted in a patently unchill situation involving both an arrest and a PR snafu. Keogh’s Crisps, a much-loved Irish potato chip company, posted a public apology following the arrest of a retired company director for growing nearly €20,000 worth of cannabis on July 10, reports Emma Spears for The GrowthOp. farmer Tony Keogh, 64, who is the uncle of company founder Tom Keogh, was arrested by Gardai.
McCain Foods Australia has announced today it has commenced construction on a renewable energy system that will reduce emissions from its Ballarat food processing facility by more than 27,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. The project, which will house Australia’s largest “behind-the-meter” renewable energy system, will subsidise McCain’s energy consumption in Ballarat by 39 per cent. The solar power, which will be generated from unused flat space on existing land surrounding the plant, will also provide three electric charging ports and shaded car spaces.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, McCain Foods stepped in to help potato growers by releasing a video encouraging Canadians to eat more french fries, titled ‘French Fries Feed Farmers’. Despite the Canadian government’s relief programs, McCain Foods stated in a release that “the private sector has an important role to play.” The company put several initiatives in place “to show its deep-rooted commitment” to its 130 potato growers across Canada. The campaign is a 38-second video designed for social media highlighting one main message: Eat more fries, Canadians!
Research study provides basis for new processing strategies to mitigate acrylamide formation, improve chip quality
Potato chips are among the highest contributors to the dietary intake of acrylamide, a potent neurotoxin and likely carcinogen in heat-processed foods, says a Canadian research team, whose study on acrylamide formation in chips was recently published online in the journal Food Control. The research team says their findings provide the basis for new processing strategies to mitigate acrylamide formation, and improve the quality of chips from these, and possibly other, potato cultivars.
Profits more than halved at frozen foods specialist McCain UK last year as “one of the worst potato harvests in 40 years” hit its bottom line. Newly filed accounts for the year to 30 June 2019 show McCain’s operating profits fell 63% to £21.3m from £57.6m a year earlier. It said it maintained a value share of 54% and a volume share of 42% of the UK frozen potato category, according to IRI data for the 12 weeks to 20 June 2020.
On Tuesday, July 28, potato processor Lamb Weston will report its fiscal fourth quarter and full year 2020 financial results. Lamb Weston will host a conference call Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 10 a.m. The conference call also may be accessed live on the internet. Participants can register for the event now. A rebroadcast of the conference call will be available on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.
The Russian language newspaper Kommersant reports that McCain Foods recently started with the construction of its first potato processing plant in the Russian Federation. A Kommersant source in the market confirmed that McCain is working on a project building a plant for the production of French fries, which is reportedly being built in the Uzlovaya Industrial Zone in Tula Oblast in European Russia.
Potato acres across Canada are expected to be down for 2020, due to contract volume cuts in March as the pandemic lockdown hit North America, writes Shel Zolkewich in an article published by Spudsmart magazine. Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada, told Zolkewich in a phone interview. “We thought we would have far too many potatoes in the market – and now, the opposite is happening in many areas.”