Trade/Markets/Prices

Minister: Potato exports to the U.S. should get ‘green light’

Canada’s Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says potato exports can resume as soon as the U.S. reviews and approves data from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, according to a report by the CBC. “From the beginning we believe this was a serious phytosanitary issue,” the Minister says. “And we believed it would be solved through science. … We had this meeting with secretary Vilsack, and I think he clearly understood the sensitivity of the issue, and clearly directed the head of APHIS to proceed as prodigiously as possible with analysis of table potatoes to the mainland at first… So we are very hopeful that our Canadian are very confident that table stock potatoes can be exported with very negligible risk. So, we are hopeful to open the market for table stock potatoes within a week, she said.

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Scottish seed potatoes rejected by Egypt, industry ponders risks of international trade

A valuable cargo of premium Scottish seed potatoes has reportedly been turned back from Egypt, at a cost traders estimate to be in the region of £1.5 million. It is understood 1,500 tonnes of Hermes seed potatoes from five or six suppliers is currently in limbo in Alexandria, after the load was rejected by Egyptian authorities because it failed to meet a December export deadline by one day.

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Truckloads of Prince Edward Island potatoes arriving at food banks across Canada

Truckloads of Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) potatoes have started to arrive at food banks across Canada, part of an effort to distribute potatoes left sitting in Island warehouses because of the 10-week ban on exports to the United States. As Nancy Russell reports for CBC News, the P.E.I. Potato Board is helping to co-ordinate the shipments, along with two of the country’s largest food bank organizations, with funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

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Potato conference hears of more post-Brexit fears for Scottish growers

The loss of the European export market following Brexit represented a blow to Scottish seed potato growers, but the sector faces a number of additional challenges to its continued existence, a major potato conference heard yesterday. The lack of transport infrastructure and port facilities suitable to allow growers to secure new export markets, the inexorable rise in the area of land infected by potato cyst nematode were revealed as major hurdles faced by the industry

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Growers in England and Wales allowed to import Dutch seed potatoes

Growers of ware potatoes in England and Wales are allowed to import seed potatoes directly from the Netherlands. At the request of the Dutch Potato Organization (NAO), the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) has investigated the possibilities for exporting Dutch seed potatoes to the United Kingdom.

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Is Canada fighting a trade war against its own potato farmers?

Prince Edward Island potato farmers in Canada are warning Americans in advertisements that a “Spudpocalypse” is nigh. Privately, in a letter to government officials, they’re placing some of the blame for the potato disaster on the federal government’s Ministry of Agriculture.

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The ‘potato crisis’ at the heart of Algeria’s imploding economy

Increasingly, the economic hardship in Algeria is being measured by the shortage of a staple product that is a key ingredient in such national dishes as tagine or chtitha batata: the potato. Indeed, the price of potatoes has almost tripled on the Algerian market in just a few months, becoming a symbol of the nation’s deteriorating economic situation, stirring up anger within modest households and igniting the risk of street protests.

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IFA: Quality issues arising in Ireland, processing sector on track in Europe

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) says in its weekly update that reports from growers indicate indicate that quality issues are emerging around Ireland and saleable yields are significantly reduced as a result. Processing factories are running to capacity and sales of product within and outside Europe are now almost back to pre-Covid levels.

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Prince Edward Island processing potatoes heading to Lamb Weston plant in Alberta

A Prince Edward Island company has brokered a deal to send as many as 700 tractor trailer loads of surplus P.E.I processing potatoes to Lamb Weston’s french fry plant in Canada’s Alberta province. As Nancy Russell reports for CBC News, the deal was put together by Terry Curley of Monaghan Farms, who is part of a working group set up to deal with the potato wart crisis in Prince Edward Island.

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Puerto Rico supermarket shelves empty as Prince Edward Island potato supply dries up

Potato importers in Puerto Rico say they are not able to fill their orders to supermarkets on the Caribbean island because they can’t get enough supply to fill the void created by the export ban on Prince Edward Island potatoes. “We are in a bad, bad situation right now,” said Mark Antunez, president of Antunez & Son Produce, who has been importing from P.E.I. since 1988.

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As McDonald’s Japan restricts French fry sales, rival boosts fry sizes by 25 percent

In December, McDonald’s Japan announced that it would be suspending sales of all French fry orders except smalls due to a potato shortage. Now, rival Japanese fast food chain Freshness Burger announced it will be increasing the amount of French fires in its regular and large-size orders, as well as its combo meals, by 25 percent and without increasing the price.

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P.E.I. Potato Board says Ottawa should reduce restrictions on domestic potato trade

The P.E.I. Potato Board says the federal government should reduce the scope of a ministerial order restricting the movement of Island potatoes across Canada while a ban on exports of such potatoes to the U.S. remains in place. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) met with its American counterpart, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Agency, as part of a regular technical discussion on how to find a resolution to the ban.

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P.E.I. potato farmers seek end to trade suspension, but U.S. officials want more data

Farmers on Prince Edward Island say there’s no justification for a suspension of exports of Island potatoes to the United States and it needs to be lifted now, but Canadian officials say the U.S. is demanding more information. “It’s our own government that has the suspension in place. We need that suspension lifted,” P.E.I. Potato Board general manager Greg Donald said in an interview Tuesday. “There’s no science that says our fresh potatoes cannot go.”

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Canada, U.S. officials to meet in bid to resolve potato ban dispute

Canadian and U.S. officials are scheduled to meet this week to see if progress can be made to end a dispute that resulted in Canada suspending all shipments of potatoes from Prince Edward Island to the United States. Officials from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will meet virtually with their American counterparts on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing trade dispute between Canada and the United States involving potatoes from Prince Edward Island.

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Govt of Canada created committee to look into Prince Edward Island potato trade ban

The Government of Canada says in a press release it is “committed to restoring market access for PEI fresh potatoes to the United States and supporting PEI farmers impacted by trade disruptions.” To that end, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced the creation of the new Federal Ministerial Coordinating Committee on PEI Potatoes with the objective of “enhancing coordination and collaboration across the federal government to respond to concerns and find solutions.”

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Lamb Weston confident in strong long-term outlook for the global frozen potato category

Lamb Weston announced its fiscal second quarter 2022 results yesterday and updated its fiscal 2022 outlook. “We remain confident in the strong long-term outlook for the global frozen potato category, and believe that executing on our strategies and ongoing investments in our business will keep us on a path to deliver sustainable, profitable growth and create value for our stakeholders,” said Tom Werner, President and CEO.

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2022 Potato Business Summit: European Market Update

At today’s Potato Business Summit – hosted in conjunction with the Potato Expo 2022 in Anaheim, California – Cedric Porter of World Potato Markets and Liam Glennon of World Potato Congress presented on the European potato market outlook. Mr Porter said it’s clear that processing usage has recovered in the last few months of 2020. The recovery in exports has been very much concentrated in exports outside the the EU, “which is probably a concern for exporters in North America”.

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Potato prices for Idaho farmers are up, but so are input costs

The global potato market is tight on supply and farm-level spud prices for Idaho farmers are up substantially. But so are farm input costs and, with prices for other Idaho crops also up significantly, many Idaho potato farmers may be faced with some tough planting decisions in 2022, writes Sean Ellis of the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation.

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KFC Kenya runs out of imported fries, now considers local suppliers ‘who meet standards’

Fast food chain KFC has suffered a shortage of French fries at its outlets in Kenya following delays in delivery from its overseas suppliers, forcing it to offer customers alternative food items in place of French fries. The company at first said it does not source potatoes for fries from local suppliers due to ‘global quality standards’, but then said on Tuesday this might happen ‘in the near future’.

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