Promotion/Marketing

Report: The US dominates Japan’s total potato product imports

According to a recently released USDA/FAS GAIN report, the United States exported nearly $348 million of potatoes and potato products to Japan in 2018, making Japan the number one overseas market for U.S. potatoes. Japan is a major importer of cooked and prepared frozen potatoes. U.S. potato products accounted for nearly 70 percent of Japan’s total potato product imports annually.[Read More…]

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US potato market specialist: '2019 could be a year to remember'

2019 could end up being a year that Idaho potato growers talk about for a long time. “This is going to be a year to remember,” Bruce Huffaker, president of North American Potato Market News, said Dec. 10 during University of Idaho’s “Idaho Ag Outlook Seminar.” Potato production in Idaho and around the U.S. is down this year and that[Read More…]

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Idaho farmers celebrate signing of USMCA trade pact

Frank Muir, president of the Idaho Potato Commission, said the new North American trade agreement recently signed by President Trump “levels the playing field for Idaho potato farmers.” The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade pact is Trump’s replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement, which took effect in 1994, according to the Associated Press. The USMCA is designed to update the[Read More…]

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Export restrictions strangling onion, potato producers in Turkey

Restrictions that Turkey’s government imposed on potato and onion exports have left producers struggling to shift their stock and could lead to hundreds of thousands of tonnes of wasted crops, Turkey’s Dünya newspaper reported. In late 2018, the government accused producers of speculatively stockpiling crops after food price inflation skyrocketed, leaving consumers struggling to buy staple goods. Police raided food[Read More…]

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Trump signs USMCA into law, move lauded by National Potato Council

The National Potato Council cheered the Jan. 29 signing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade pact into law by President Trump. The agreement is expected to stabilize the U.S. potato export markets of Canada and Mexico by both eliminating the threat of retaliatory tariffs and precluding the loss of tariff benefits previously provided by NAFTA. “The National Potato Council welcomes[Read More…]

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Agrico reaches out to the world with ‘Next Generation’ at Fruit Logistica

Agrico will be exhibiting at Fruit Logistica in Berlin from Wednesday 5 to Friday 7 February 2020. At this leading international trade event, Agrico, together with its subsidiaries, will demonstrate its successful contribution to sustainable potato cultivation for the ‘Next Generation’. The title of Agrico’s strategy 2020-2030 is ‘good growth’. The company’s responsibility for people, planet and profit is very[Read More…]

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US: Potato council CEO hails trade deals

Despite the fact that the U.S. Congress is deeply divided along partisan lines, legislators are still getting a lot of important bills passed — including a revised trade agreement with Canada and Mexico. “A lot of things have actually gotten done in the last few months,” said Kam Quarles, the chief executive of the National Potato Council. Quarles, who spoke[Read More…]

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Bord Bia, CNIPT, Europatat and VLAM join forces to promote the consumption of fresh potatoes among European millennials

CNIPT, Bord Bia, Europatat and VLAM have launched an inspiring campaign under the title “Potatoes, prepare to be surprised – Europe’s favourite since 1536”. The joint initiative, which is co-financed by the European Commission under the EU Promotion policy, will run from January 2020 to December 2022 and will encourage the consumption of fresh potatoes among millennials in Flanders (Belgium),[Read More…]

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New MountainKing merchandising program focuses on baby potatoes

As sales of baby Golds, Reds and Medley potatoes continue to climb, MountainKing is embarking on an aggressive program to provide its retail partners with turnkey, display-ready options aimed at driving sales of the smaller, pre-sized variety.  â€œSmall potatoes are under-promoted and under-merchandised,” says MountainKing vice president of sales and marketing.  “We’re working to change that narrative in a big[Read More…]

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Aviko acquires Chinese french fries producer

Dutch-based company Aviko, one of Europe’s largest producers of fresh, frozen, dried and specialty potato products and part of Royal Cosun, has reached an agreement with Hongyuan Agriculture to acquire 90% of its shares in Hongyuan Louis. Hongyuan Louis is a relatively young producer of frozen French fries located in Xilinhot, North of Bashang in China. The deal includes a[Read More…]

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Potato Expo calls Vegas home to talk future of spud business

Thousands of growers are in Las Vegas for the 2020 Potato Expo. The event is the largest conference and trade show for the potato industry in North America. This week, those in the potato industry are in town at the Mirage hotel-casino and discussing the future of business. The potato expo offers educational programming and numerous sessions featuring experts from the industry[Read[Read More…]

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National Potato Council in the US launches new Eye on Potatoes podcast

Kicking off the 12th annual Potato Expo, held Jan 14-15 in Las Vegas, the National Potato Council announced the launch of its new podcast, Eye on Potatoes. The podcast, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts, provides a platform for growers throughout the country and policy makers in Washington to learn about industry policy priorities and hear from growers[Read More…]

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North America: No need for potato panic – yet

Most of us love fries and chips. Other than people on a ketogenic diet, most diets don’t discriminate against the mighty potato. It’s even in Canada’s newest food guide. Most dishes using potatoes are loved by Canadians, especially in the wintertime, when colder weather encourages us to seek out more hearty meals. But reports suggest that North America is experiencing[Read More…]

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Canada: Peak of the Market's 'Potahto Week' event returns

Registration is now open for restaurants hoping to be crowned champion during the 3rd annual Potahto Week presented by Peak of the Market in Winnipeg in Canada’s Manitoba province. The 10-day event challenges restaurants to put forward a signature dish made with Manitoba grown potatoes and lets the public vote on their favourite creation. According to Larry McIntosh, President and[Read More…]

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US: Maine's potato universe

Potato-eaters this month are getting a chance to try a new variety that hasn’t been seen in New England before, the result of a partnership between Fryeburg’s Green Thumb Farms and Hannaford Supermarkets. If it works, you may eventually find new kinds of potatoes in a wider range of Maine stores. Mike Hart, director of sales and marketing for Green Thumb Farms[Read More…]

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Wada Farms organic programs continue to grow

With demand for organically-grown produce continuing to increase, Wada Farm Marketing Group LLC in Idaho Falls, ID, made a commitment several years ago to greatly expand its organic offerings across all of its product lines. That effort is ongoing, as the company continues not only to increase its volume of organic products but also to extend availability, with a goal[Read More…]

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Maine Potato Board preps for exciting season ahead

The Maine Potato Board is aiming to continue its winning streak by following up on last year’s very successful season with one that is nearly as good. “We’ve just been over a long harvest that went much longer than we hoped, but that being said, we got the crop out of the ground and I think it’s a quality crop[Read More…]

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Australian potatoes explore Egypt

A trade delegation including Western Australian (WA) potato industry leaders toured Egypt in November, confirming the potential to export at least 10,000 tonnes of seed potatoes.  The delegation focused on connecting with commercial operators at all levels of the Egyptian supply chain involved in potato crisp processing. This visit followed a 2017 visit, which identified the market as having significant[Read More…]

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US: Varietals, organics continue to spice up potato business

A potato isn’t just a potato, particularly now, with new varieties and organics coming on, marketers say. “Everyone is looking for category growth, and that is coming from specialty and organic offerings,” said Scott Leimkuhler, vice president with Los Angeles-based Progressive Produce LLC in Walla Walla, Wash. Large size packs on russets (10s and 15s) are decreasing in popularity, as consumers are[Read More…]

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New trade agreement good news for spud exports to Mexico

The recent approval of an updated trade agreement for North America is good news for U.S. potato growers who do business in Mexico, according to the top official with the potato industry’s lobbying organization.  National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles said Tuesday’s announcement of the signing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement should “stabilize” potato exports to America’s southern neighbor. More than[Read More…]

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North America: Processed potato needs influence fresh market

The chip, frozen and other potato-processing businesses continue to touch the fresh industry, but that touch might be a bit stronger this year, marketers say. “We have all heard of the news in the U.S.,” said Ross Johnson, international marketing director with the Eagle-based Idaho Potato Commission.  He noted the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently reported that, overall, the U.S.[Read More…]

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Report: Oregon Potato Company extends another offer to buy Quincy Foods

After the initial deal fell through, NORPAC plans to sell its Quincy Foods plant to Oregon Potato Company.  The Statesman-Journal reports that the Salem-based farmer cooperative plans to selling the facility for $93.5 million after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August. The publication reports that Oregon Potato Company Owner Frank Tiegs backed out of the deal Oct. 18[Read More…]

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Bad weather creating french fry shortage in the US

If you love French Fries, you better eat them while you can; a stretch of poor weather has lead to a significant shortage of potatoes in North America, which could leave your local deep fryer empty of the delicious spuds. Unusually cold and wet conditions in both the United States and Canada destroyed crops, putting a big crunch on the[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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