Have your say on the future of seed potato standards in Britain

Red Tractor are looking for industry feedback on potential changes to the Safe Haven Standards, the seed potato assurance scheme in the UK. New standards likely to be added to the scheme cover areas such as water use, storage best practice and traceability. The strengthened standards will now mean that the scheme will also cover Brown Rot and Epitrix on top of[Read More…]

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China imposes new tariffs on US potatoes

This past Friday, August 23, China responded to prior U.S. tariff threats by releasing a new list of targeted American products. Among them were new tariffs on potatoes and potato products. “We have been urging all sides to come to the negotiating table rather than continue ratcheting up the pressure. A reasonable agreement can be achieved, but talks need to[Read More…]

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The shortfall factor: The potential benefit of lower East European and German potato production for the UK

According to Aidan Wright, Analyst at AHDB in the UK, a strong demand for fresh packing supplies from Eastern Europe helped provide support to the packing market in the latter half of the 2018/19 season. With shortfalls looking likely in several European countries, could we see this happen again? Wright says the competitive pricing of Scottish potatoes last season (2018/19)[Read[Read More…]

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Kenyan potato farmers set to reap big as new packaging law takes root

Potato farmers from Meru County are set to reap big after the recent implementation of laws governing packaging of the commodity. According to the farmers, the law which demands that farmers package their produce in a 50 kilogram bag as opposed to the initial 90 kilogram will see producers get better value for their goods. The  elated farmers interviewed by[Read More…]

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Australian potato wholesaler fined for unfair contracts

Aussie potato wholesaler Mitolo Group has been fined A$240,000 (US$162,000) for infringements relating to its contracts with potato growers. In proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Australian Federal Court declared that certain terms of contracts were unfair and therefore void. The contracts which were declared to be unfair included terms that allowed Mitolo to unilaterally[Read[Read More…]

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US Ag Secretary thanked for support of expanding potato trade with Mexico

The National Potato Council and a dozen other U.S. state and regional potato associations on Aug. 16 thanked Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue for his support of expanded U.S. fresh potato exports to Mexico. The letter to Perdue thanked him for his testimony before a recent House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee hearing. At that hearing, Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, asked Perdue about USDA[Read More…]

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Latest Canadian Potato Crop Update issued; 3000 acres of potatoes expected to be lost because of big hailstorm in the West

Kevin MacIsaac, General Manager of United Potato Growers of Canada issued the latest update on the potato crop this past Thursday. He thanked all the provincial directors of UPGC for their input on this report. Prince Edward Island: PEI’s potato crop got off to a good start and most fields have achieved full canopy. Unfortunately, weather in the past month[Read[Read More…]

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New packaging laws launched across potato growing counties in Kenya

Potato farmers in fourteen counties in Kenya are the winners following the introduction of new packaging regulations which will be implemented across the country. The Crops (Irish Potatoes) Regulations 2019, which were gazetted two months ago by the National Government’s Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, require that all potato packaging in the country be capped at 50 kilograms bringing to[Read More…]

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US potato chip company to construct warehouse to accommodate growing business

Officials with West Virginia-based Mister Bee Potato Chips said this week that plans are in place to construct a new warehouse in order to keep up with expanding production. An estimated $500,000, 10,000-square-foot project, the warehouse is planned to be built next to the company’s production facility in Parkersburg, The Parkersburg News & Sentinel reports. The growth follows a recent investment of[Read[Read More…]

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Retail potato sales value in the US increases

According to a report issued today by Potatoes USA, IRI data for the July 2018 through June 2019 marketing year (MY19) show both successes and opportunities for the potato category. Total potato sales are reportedly increased in dollars by 2.0%, while sales volume declined by (1.0)%. The increase in volume sales occurred in April 2019 through June 2019, finishing the[Read[Read More…]

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Wisconsin growers anticipate big crop this season

Wisconsin potato growers predicted their entire industry should be digging in earnest by mid-August, although some spuds were on track to come out as early as the last week of July, suppliers said. A mid-August “official start” would be slightly later than normal, due to “some challenges with sizing,” said Dana Radey, director of promotion, communication and consumer education with the Antigo-based Wisconsin[Read[Read More…]

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Australian potato growers push Simplot for price increase

Last month, Tasmanian potato growers in Australia unanimously rejected Simplot’s price offer. They are still working to negotiate a new contract. The company was offering a price increase of 2 cents a kilogram, or $20 a tonne for the upcoming season But grower Matt Ryan said Simplot was the processor stuck in the middle between the growers, consumers and retailers.[Read[Read More…]

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Potato prices double due to shortage in Europe

The price of potatoes has reached record levels. The low production in Europe due to the dry weather has caused the export figures to plummet in the main producing countries (France, the Netherlands and Germany), while Spain, where the harvest has not been so bad, has been selling more abroad due to the good prices paid. All this has led[Read[Read More…]

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Australian potato growers plan to send more spuds overseas

West Australia’s embattled potato growers plan to collaborate to drive a sevenfold increase in spud exports within five years. WA Potato Growers Association chief executive Simon Moltoni said the State’s potato growers faced diminishing returns in a shrinking industry. But after commissioning industry and export development plans Mr Moltoni said he was confident growers could achieve better prices and grow[Read More…]

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Potatoes now worth one billion dollars to New Zealand economy

Chris Claridge, Potato New Zealand’s CEO, is pleased to see steady growth in potato volumes and values, writes Gemma Carroll, Communications & Engagement Officer at PNZ. “The latest figures in from 2018 indicate we’re holding our own in exports and the value domestically has gone up. It’s a good report. However we would like to lift our export market. The[Read More…]

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How important is Frito-Lay for PepsiCo’s growth?

Frito-Lay North America (FLNA) has maintained its position as the fastest growing segment for PepsiCo over recent years. PepsiCo Revenues have increased from $62.8 billion in 2016 to $64.7 in 2018, growing at a CAGR of 1.5%. During the same period, FLNA saw its revenues increase from $15.5 billion to $16.3 billion, at a CAGR of 2.5%. According to a recent Forbes[Read[Read More…]

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Australia’s Mitolo Group fined over unfair potato contracts

Australia’s largest potato wholesaler, Mitolo Group Pty Ltd, has reportedly been fined $240,000 by the Federal Court over unfair contracts with its potato growers. In proceedings brought by the ACCC, the Federal Court found that Mitolo breached the Horticulture Code of Conduct in relation to 19 contracts entered into with potato growers between December 2016 and February 2018. Under the[Read[Read More…]

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Idaho Potato Commission approves higher budget, redistricting plan

The Idaho Potato Commission on July 24 approved a $15.9 million budget for the fiscal year that starts Sept. 1, up from just over $15 million a year earlier, according to a report by Capital Press. Commissioners also approved a redistricting plan that will give growers in the high-production eastern part of the state additional representation if the Legislature approves,[Read[Read More…]

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US potato growers concerned over trade

Like other commodities, trade remains top of mind for potato growers across the Northwest. Chris Voigt, Executive Director of the Washington state Potato Commission says a year into the trade war with China, local growers and processors are starting to see and feel the impact. Making matters worse, the U.S. still does not have a trade deal with Japan, the[Read[Read More…]

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National Potato Council meeting in the US draws many industry leaders

Almost 150 potato growers and industry leaders met at the National Potato Council’s summer meeting in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., to discuss industry policy priorities.  From speakers at the July 10-12 meeting, attendees deepened their knowledge about farm and food exports, climate change, and leadership development, according to a council news release. There was a special celebration for outgoing council president and[Read[Read More…]

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Idaho Potato Commission partners with Mexican retailer

The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) recently partnered with Mexican retailer Calimax for a four-week promotional campaign to introduce Idaho Potatoes to the Mexican consumer.  The IPC chose Calimax to sell Idaho potatoes due to its proximity to the U.S. state, just south of the San Diego border.  “The Idaho Potato Commission and its commissioners have been enthusiastic about the partnership[Read[Read More…]

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USAID, PepsiCo Egypt sign MoU to support Egyptian potato farmers

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with PepsiCo Egypt, to expand cooperation between USAID and PepsiCo’s subsidiary, Chipsy for Food Industries, to improve farmer livelihoods, the agency said in a press statement on Sunday. According to the statement, the joint programme will increase transparency and sustainability in the potato supply chain. This[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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