Unlocking the potential of potatoes: FAO publishes a guide for celebrating the International Day of Potato

The first International Day of Potato will be celebrated on May 30, highlighting its crucial role in fighting hunger, fostering diversity, and extending hope. The theme “Harvesting Diversity, Feeding Hope” emphasizes its importance in addressing poverty and environmental challenges with a focus on healthier consumption practices. FAO recently published an eleven page guide to the new International Day, making us aware of what each of us can do to promote sustainable potato production and consumption.

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Sustainable spuds: The EU’s ‘Potatoes Forever!’ campaign champions eco-conscious cultivation

The EU’s “Potatoes Forever!” campaign champions sustainable potato cultivation and consumption in Europe. Funded by the EU for 2024, it targets adults 35-49 through various media, teaching about eco-friendly potato practices from farming to dining, in line with the “Farm to Fork” strategy. This initiative aims to transform the industry and maintain potatoes as a dietary staple, respecting nature and combating climate change.

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Michigan’s mighty spuds: A $2.5 billion boost to state economy and job market

Michigan’s potato industry generates over $2.5 billion for the state’s GDP and supports roughly 21,700 jobs, solidifying its status as an economic powerhouse and the second-largest commodity in Michigan, behind apples. A Michigan State University study highlights its significance, with Michigan being the national leader in chipping potatoes, supplying one-fourth of U.S. potato chips.

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Global spotlight on potatoes: May 30 to celebrate the first International Day of Potato

The FAO will commemorate the first International Day of Potato on May 30, 2024, an initiative led by Peru. Recognizing the potato as the world’s third most consumed crop, the event highlights its importance in global food security and nutrition. While production has risen 10% in the last decade, there remains untapped potential for poverty and hunger reduction. FAO will launch awareness campaigns and encourage sustainable practices among stakeholders and native communities.

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Potato power: U.S. sees notable rise in potato export values across multiple categories

In Q3 2023, US potato exports saw a major boost, with an overall 10.8% increase in value, reaching $607 million, according to Potatoes USA. The fresh potato segment showed growth in exports value and volume. Particularly, exports to Mexico soared by 48.8%. However, the exports fell in Canada and Taiwan. The frozen potato sector saw a mixed trend, but dehydrated potatoes saw significant growth. Potato chips and seed potatoes demonstrated varied trends.

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Potato retail sales in the U.S. surge in recent quarter despite volume fluctuations

In the third quarter of 2023, potato retail sales in the U.S. increased by 9.5% compared to the same period last year, as reported by Potatoes USA. Despite a slight 1.7% drop in overall volume sales, fresh potato sales remained stable. Notable growth was seen in canned, frozen, and instant potato categories in dollar sales. Fresh potato prices rose to $1.12 per pound, a 6.3% increase from the previous year. Despite some fluctuations, the overall increase in dollar sales highlights the enduring appeal of potatoes among consumers.

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The Little Potato Company’s festive campaign: A dash of happiness and a chance to win

The Little Potato Company, North America’s leading Creamer potato company, has launched the “A Little Holiday Happiness Is…” campaign, featuring online and POS sweepstakes running until January. Angela Santiago, CEO, emphasizes the campaign’s aim to bring joy and ease to families during the festive season. Amid rising food prices, the company offers a chance to win $1,000 in groceries, with 30 winners across the U.S. and Canada. Their Little Potatoes, which are pre-washed and require no peeling or cutting, promise convenience and deliciousness for holiday meals.

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Potatoes: The produce powerhouse driving retail success in the U.S.

Fresh potatoes have emerged as a consistent sales force in the U.S. produce sector, offering retailers vast opportunities for increased customer interaction. Data reveals that effective merchandising significantly boosts potato sales. With the highest household penetration among vegetables, purchased on average 10 times annually, potatoes enhance sales for other items too. Their contribution to the produce department ensures overall store success, making them a valuable asset for retailers.

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Idaho potato crop flourishes: Retailers to reap benefits

The 2023-24 season forecasts a robust Idaho potato crop, promising affordability and heightened promotional prospects for retailers. With a 12% increase in planted acres from the previous year, Idaho leads the U.S. in potato production growth. Despite price drops, the quality remains high, attributed to ideal weather conditions. Ross Johnson of the Idaho Potato Commission anticipates enhanced promotional opportunities, emphasizing the value potatoes present to consumers, especially in the upcoming economic climate.

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Unlocking prosperity: Nigeria’s comprehensive National Potato Strategy unveiled

In October 2023, Nigeria introduced the National Potato Strategy, aiming to rejuvenate its potato industry. This strategy seeks to ensure food and nutrition security, promote trade surplus, and enhance incomes. Recognizing the challenges in the potato value chain, the plan involves collaboration among key stakeholders to maximize their combined strengths. The launch event highlighted the untapped potential of potato commercialization and emphasized the importance of quality seed access, strategic partnerships, and sector-wide coordination.

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Potato prices skyrocket in South Africa amid growing concerns about supply and food security

South African potato prices have surged, with a 10kg bag now costing R121 (6.25 euros), a 136% increase from last year, reports Carolize Jansen of FreshPlaza. Supply volumes have dropped by 46%. Other produce like bananas and pumpkins also face price hikes. Challenges such as water shortages and electricity issues plague farmers, raising concerns about food security and affordability in the region.

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European potato dynamics: Ireland’s stability, UK’s pricing efforts, and France’s yield predictions

In Ireland, potato home consumption and retail sales have stabilized due to colder weather, as per the Irish Farmers Association. New season Rooster potatoes are entering the market, but harvesting is tough due to late planting effects. In the UK, maincrop buyers aim to revert prices to contract levels, with more growers storing crops. France’s crop yield is predicted to be slightly below the decade’s average, with potential tight supplies in Europe due to increased demand.

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‘Potatoes Forever!’ campaign launched in Europe to promote sustainable practices in the potato industry

Europe has initiated a €3.2 million “POTATOES FOREVER!” campaign, spanning three years in France and Italy, to educate the public about sustainable practices in the potato sector. Funded 80% by the European Union, the campaign aims to highlight the industry’s efforts in biodiversity protection, water conservation, and eco-friendly farming. The initiative responds to consumers’ growing demand for transparency in food production and sustainability.

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The ‘potato chronicles’: National Potato Council unpacking the latest in US potato industry trends

The National Potato Council’s ‘Spud Nation Report’, published earlier this year, provides a detailed overview of the US potato industry. It highlights a rising demand for potatoes, with sales reaching $4.8 billion in 2022. The report discusses production trends, export-import dynamics, changing consumer preferences towards organic and non-GMO potatoes, sustainability efforts, technological advancements in food safety, marketing strategies, policy implications, labor challenges, and research initiatives.

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America’s ‘veggie king’: The unwavering popularity of potatoes

At the 2023 Potato Business Summit earlier this year, Kim Breshears of Potatoes USA highlighted the enduring popularity of potatoes in America. Studies show potatoes as the top vegetable for five consecutive years. While 40% of the U.S. potato crop goes to retail and food service each, 20% is exported. Despite a brief pandemic-induced dip, food service sales are rebounding, indicating a robust future for the potato industry. The data presented by Kim Breshears underscores the unwavering popularity of potatoes in the U.S. market.

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Eye on Potatoes podcast: Defending potatoes in the 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans process

The “Eye on Potatoes” podcast discussed the upcoming 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). The U.S. potato industry aims to ensure accurate potato nutrition information is considered in the guidelines. NPC CEO Kam Quarles provided testimony to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The podcast also featured Beth Johnson, a food policy expert with over 25 years of experience, who has been working with NPC to promote the benefits of potatoes.

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U.S. seeks expanded potato trade with Japan: Key discussions ahead

During the U.S.-Japan bilateral talks from September 25-29, the U.S. potato sector, spearheaded by National Potato Council’s CEO Kam Quarles, will push for broader access to Japan’s fresh potato market. Although the U.S. has exported chipping potatoes to Japan since 2006, there’s a drive to expand into the overall fresh potato segment, which could yield an additional $150-$200 million in yearly exports. This initiative has bipartisan backing from Congress.

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Weird news: Walkers creates world’s biggest ‘billboard’ by turning 30,000 potato plants into huge advert

Walkers has created the world’s biggest-ever ‘billboard’ – a 73,532 square foot ‘cropvert’ – created in a British potato field. Yorkshire-based potato farmer Tim Rodwell helped the crisp brand turn roughly 30,000 potato plant into its biggest and most unusual campaign to date. The artwork is so big it’s visible from space, and outsizes the biggest standing billboard in the world – which covers 67,382 square feet.

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U.S. potato exports smash records: An in-depth look at a booming industry

The U.S. potato export market has achieved record-breaking success, with a 19.05% increase in value to USD 2.2 billion and a 3.85% rise in volume to 3.3 million metric tons. This comprehensive growth spans various potato categories, including frozen, fresh, and dehydrated products. Year-over-year data also shows an 11% increase from the previous year, highlighting the industry’s resilience and potential for future expansion. The report offers valuable insights for stakeholders and policy-makers.

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South Africa’s love affair with the humble spud: Countdown to National Potato Day

South Africa showcases its deep-rooted appreciation for the potato as it eagerly anticipates National Potato Day on August 19. This event not only celebrates the culinary versatility of the tuber but also highlights its significance in the nation’s diet and culture. As the day approaches, South Africans are preparing to honor the humble spud, reflecting its cherished status from farm to feast. The nation’s potato pride is truly unparalleled.

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‘PotatoNext’: Uniting Agrico, Nedato, and Leo de Kock for sustainable potato production

PotatoNext, the new independent cooperative formed by Agrico, Nedato, and Leo de Kock, is set to revolutionize the potato industry. With a fresh new logo and corporate identity, PotatoNext aims to bring together the entire process of potato production, from planting to consumption. Led by experienced directors Jan Bijleveld and Mariska Werring, the cooperative’s management team is committed to driving growth and success. Stay tuned for more updates on the benefits and developments this collaboration will bring to growers, customers, and suppliers.

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Celebrating potato product and packaging innovation, Sterman Masser Farms will exhibit at NEPC Expo

Sterman Masser Potato Farms will present its Side Delights Petite potatoes at the NEPC Expo in Boston from August 21-22, 2023. These U.S. No.1 grade potatoes come in various colors and innovative packaging. Additionally, Masser introduces its sustainable Bioflex packaging, which decomposes in modern landfills. Lela Reichart, the Executive Director of Marketing, emphasizes Masser’s commitment to quality and sustainability, inviting attendees to experience their innovations at Booth #425.

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U.S. potatoes prove resilient: Retail dollar sales hit $16.9 billion for the 52-week period 2022-2023

U.S. retail potato sales soared 16.8% from July 2022 to June 2023, reaching a five-year high of $16.9 billion. Despite a 19.9% price increase, potatoes remained affordable at $2.36/pound. All potato categories, including frozen, canned, and fresh, saw growth in dollar sales. Russet potatoes led the fresh category with a 23.5% sales increase, while larger pack sizes faced declines.

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The future of machinery trade: GRIMME unveils state-of-the-art digital marketplace for machinery

GRIMME has launched a redesigned digital marketplace for new, used, and rental machinery. Developed with input from customers, partners, and employees, the platform features an enhanced design, advanced search functions, and detailed machine listings. Integrated with the GRIMME Resell App and “Maschinen Park Online” (MPO), the marketplace hosts over 800 ads, positioning itself as a leading platform in root crop technology.

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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