Potatoes from the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island are once again rolling down the highway to the United States, with the first truckloads arriving in the Boston area Tuesday morning. As Nancy Russell reports for CBC News, exporters began loading their trucks on Monday, three days after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the potatoes would be permitted south of the border and four months after the ban was first imposed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Gwillimdale Farms is pleased to announce the debut of a brand new and fully automated potato grading system – equipped with artificial intelligence – to its one-stop shop. This new system has multiple different parameters set to meet the required specifications of size, volume, shape, grade, and deviation. The investment allows a big move toward sustainable agriculture and reducing food waste.
Potato sales from January to December 2021 increased compared to the same period in 2019, before the pandemic, but could not keep up with consumers’ increased time spent in home kitchens during 2020, according to Potatoes USA. The industry body says volume sales increased almost 5% compared to the more normalized time of 2019.
Uglies Kettle Chips announces a brand redesign with a new logo, website, and a package design ready to hit shelves this month. Uglies, a division of Dieffenbach’s Snacks, has been on a mission since 2017 to reduce waste, support farmers, and fight hunger by using imperfect potatoes to craft delicious kettle-cooked potato chips.
A mix of drought in Canada’s prairies and flooding on its Pacific coast have brought about crop production and shipping woes now leading to international shortages of fries and mustard. In Japan, for example, McDonald’s has been forced to ration fries as the British Columbia floods squeezed potato imports, while mustard producers in France are forecasting steep price increases because the drought in another part of Canada – the world’s biggest producer of mustard grains – cut supplies.
It was a good year for Canada’s potato farmers in 2021 with seeded and harvested acres and yields reaching levels not seen for more than a decade, according to Statistics Canada estimates. However, significant challenges remain with Prince Edward Island, the nation’s largest producer, dealing with an export ban while a tough weather year in the west might mean production will fall short of being able to meet an increase in processing capacity.
A new partnership could see Ireland back producing significant amounts of chips for chip shops and distributors throughout the country. As Tamara Fitzpatrick reports for the Independent, O’Shea Farms from Piltown, Co Kilkenny have joined forces with Meadowfresh Foods in Tallow, Co Waterford to market and supply fresh Irish chipping potatoes.
Chippy Chat and Isle of Ely Produce, both based in Ely Cambs in the UK, won big at the recent National Potato Awards 2021, presented at a celebratory dinner on the first night of the British Potato 2021 event. They won the marketing award for work linking fish and chip shop owners and growers in the UK, and was collected by Austen Dack, Managing Editor of Chippy Chat, and Oliver Boutwood, Isle of Ely Produce Director.
Albert Bartlett launched a new national advertising campaign capturing its brand-new theme ‘Make It Extraordinary’. As Fiona Briggs reports for Retails Times, the advert includes a fantastical representation of the potato picking line and features world-class acrobats to demonstrate the five-star treatment that every one of Albert Bartlett’s potatoes receives.
APHIS commends CFIA for voluntarily prohibiting export of seed and fresh potatoes from Prince Edward Island
In a news release issued today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) commends the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for voluntarily prohibiting export of seed and fresh potatoes from Canada’s Prince Edward Island (PEI) into the United States due to the confirmed presence of Synchytrium endobioticum in that country.
The Prince Edward Island Potato Board in Canada is using virtual reality to remind buyers of the reasons to purchase spuds from the Island. As Nancy Russell reports for CBC News, the board has sent a dozen virtual reality kits including high-tech goggles to many large national retailers across Canada, as well as some regional retailers both in Canada and the United States.
Tasteful Selections and RPE, its exclusive sales and marketing partner, have formed a new entity: Tasteful Partners. As part of the arrangement, Tasteful Partners is acquiring RPE and closed on the sale last week. The deal creates synergies as well as alignment and integration opportunities across Tasteful Selections and RPE, said Bob Bender, Tasteful Selections chief executive officer. The new Tasteful Partners entity is a wholly-owned CSS Farms subsidiary.
The marketing year that ended in June 2021 was unlike any year the potato industry has ever experienced, says Potatoes USA in a news release issued today. “With pandemic restrictions ebbing and flowing from June 2020 to July 2021, sales at foodservice fluctuated while retail purchases remained extremely strong throughout the year,” the industry body says.
Mary Brown’s is showing it’s buds with those who make spuds, with a new campaign that champions Manitoba farmers. The QSR’s campaign draws attention to a fourth generation potato farmer – and Mary Brown’s supplier – Lyndon Thiessen and the love and care he puts into his crops.
The UK hospitality sector has been fully open for a few months now. Although not quite back to full capacity, people are enjoying being able to eat out again.“We have seen a massive demand for our brand both in fresh potatoes and frozen chips,” explains Simon Martin from Koffmann’s. “We have put a huge amount of work into this brand and promoting it. We have started supplying the Gordon Ramsey chain of restaurants and have had good support from him and other top chefs through social media.”
The transition from old crop to new crop potatoes is taking place right now, and two potato industry observers report that expected reduced fresh shipments during the 2021-22 marketing year should provide a firm market. Mark Klompien, president and CEO of the United Potato Growers of America For the 2020-21 season, Klompien said that fresh potato pricing seems to be finding stable footing this fall.
Total U.S. potato exports increased by 4% in volume and 1% in value for July 2020 – June 2021 compared to the previous marketing year (MY). The rebound in exports was led by a 9% increase in fresh potatoes, a 10% increase in potato chips, and a 2% increase in frozen exports, accounting for 51% of the total. It is anticipated that with the continued easing of restrictions around the world, U.S. potato exports will continue to grow in MY22.
What can possibly happen in 10 seconds? For Filipinos hooked to their mobile phones for more than 10 hours a day every day, 10 seconds is a lot. A new advertising concept will even shake things up in online consumer engagement as Potato Corner, the beloved “flavored fries,” brings its playful and fun flavors in a pioneering, never-before-seen storytelling adventure.
Canadian supermarkets are soon to be stocking Indigenous-owned potato chip brand Tomahawk Chips. In just over five years an Indigenous business owner has taken an upstart potato chip business from humble roots in rural Manitoba, to a distribution deal that will now see his chips sold all across the country.
Side Delights offers solutions for shoppers who want to continue eating at home with an elevated dining experience. “Increased family time, convenience, and cost-savings are some of the reasons that consumers have traditionally chosen to stay in and eat at home,” noted Kathleen Triou, President and CEO of Fresh Solutions Network. Side Delights’ line of Gourmet Petites potatoes is for shoppers seeking potatoes similar to those found in fine-dining restaurants.
In a fresh produce career that has spanned nearly 50 years, Cary Hoffman still finds passion for the action of fresh produce and the challenge of growing consumer demand for potatoes, writes Tom Karst of The Packer in this first part of a two part story. For the past 25 years, that journey has included bringing niche potato varieties from Europe to the North American market.
Potatoes USA’s complimentary online curriculum, “Potato University”, is designed for busy foodservice professionals who want to learn more about how to incorporate all types of potatoes – from fresh, to frozen, to dehydrated—into the menu. These online classes are an excellent resource packed with valuable potato insights, and they can be taken any time at one’s own pace. “Anyone interested in learning more about U.S. potatoes can take this self-paced course,” explains Kendra Keenan, Global Marketing Manager, Foodservice at Potatoes USA.
The excitement that U.S. potato growers felt following an April 28 decision by the Mexican Supreme Court to open up that entire nation to fresh potato exports from the United States has been blunted somewhat. According to leaders of the Idaho and U.S. potato industries, the group that represents Mexico’s potato industry could be attempting to throw up a roadblock that could slow down or potentially stop the importation of fresh U.S. potatoes into all of Mexico.
Hoping to raise awareness about difficulties in selling their produce, potato farmers from the Famagusta district in Cyprus on Thursday handed out sacks of potatoes and carnations to oncoming cars at the Xylophagou exit of the Larnaca-Famagusta highway. The farmers and their families spoke with the drivers of the oncoming cars about their difficulties. The protest involved tractors but was monitored by the police.