The next Potato Business Summit will be hosted during the Potato Expo on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 at the Gaylord Rockies Resort in Aurora, Colorado. Proven to be one of the popular events during the annual Expo, it is co-sponsored and presented by the United Potato Growers of America (UPGA), the Potato Marketing Association of North America (PMA), and the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC). Those interested to attend are encouraged to register online soon.
Australia’s hot chip woes continue this summer
It might not be so easy to get your hands on some delicious hot chips [fries] this summer or when you do, be prepared to pay a higher price than usual. As Chantelle Francis reports for News.com.au, processed potatoes used for potato chips, crisps and other potato products are in tight supply, the industry warns.
South Africa: French fry import tariffs remain a ‘hot potato’
The general manager of Merlog Foods, told Farmer’s Weekly that the price of frozen French fries had almost doubled over the past year in South Africa due to the introduction of import tariffs, which, according to him, created a shortage of French fries on the market. However, Willie Jacobs, CEO of Potatoes SA, stressed that the import tariffs, which amounted to 23% for Belgium, 104% for the Netherlands and 181% for German suppliers, were necessary to protect the local industry against “dumping” and did not affect food security in South Africa.
Hot chip crisis: Spud King Tony Galati’s plan to save Western Australia from a national potato shortage
Australia is facing a potato shortage after wild east coast weather ravaged farms and delayed growers’ sowing crops — which means hot chippies are becoming scarce — but don’t worry, there’s a man with a plan, as Rebecca Le May and Elisia Seeber report for PerthNow. The Spudshed founder Tony Galati revealed to The West Australian he has brought forward a long-standing plan to add a frozen chip and potato crisp processing arm to his ever-expanding horticulture and retail empire.
UPGC report: Canada brings in another record potato crop in 2022, despite adverse weather and regional variability
Statistics Canada has estimated Canadian Potato Production in 2022 to be 122,970,000 hundred weight, up 0.8% over 2021. Despite a very cold and wet spring delaying planting and very hot, dry weather in many parts of Canada throughout August and into the harvest, Canada still brought in another record crop compared to the 5-year average, a good supply to match the continually increasing demand for processing potatoes both here in Canada and in the United States, reports Victoria Stamper, General Manager of United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC).
Potatoes USA: Despite slight decrease in volume, potato retail sales increased above pre-pandemic levels in dollar sales
Potato retail sales increased in dollar sales by 17.8% but decreased in volume sales by 2.1% from July – September 2022 compared to the same timeframe a year ago, according to a news release issued by Potatoes USA today. The industry body says despite a small decrease in volume sales, volume sales remain above pre-pandemic levels. Over the last five years, the average consumer price per pound of potatoes has increased each year.
U.S. and Canada potato trade spat: ‘Truth must prevail in potato wart discussions’
There are two things we know for sure, writes Ian Petrie in a news story published by Island Farmer. He goes on to say that Prince Edward Island (PEI) potato growers in Canada “want to use their snow blowers to move snow this winter, not destroy potatoes. Secondly, the National Potato Council, the U.S. potato industry’s political lobbying arm in Washington, wants another import ban on all PEI potatoes claiming economically devastating potato wart can’t be stopped without it. One of these groups won’t get what they want.”
Wilson’s Country: Seed potato ban ‘at crisis point’ for Northern Ireland growers
The ban on UK seed potato exports to the EU and Northern Ireland has reached crisis point for Northern Irish potato growers who depend ”very heavily” on seed imported from Scotland, according to leading Irish potato grower-packer Wilson’s Country. Wilson’s Country CEO Angus Wilson told Northern Ireland Minister of State Steve Baker MP that the ban could severely damage the competitiveness of potato production in Northern Ireland.
Mintec: UK free-buy potato prices decline in November, but 31% higher than 2021 levels
The Mintec benchmark price for packing potatoes in the UK declined by 5% month-on-month on the week of 23 November. Despite the recent decline in prices, they remain up 31% year-on-year. Potato growers continue to face higher production costs, largely for energy, fertiliser and transportation. The cost of storing potatoes rose significantly compared to 2021.
IFA: Potato consumption picks up in Ireland and Europe, ambient stores difficult to hold in the UK
Retail demand and household consumption in Ireland have picked up since colder weather has set in, as the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) reports. Storage costs are a multiple of last year’s costs and growers must immediately receive an increase at farm gate level to compensate for this, IFA says. In the U.K. ambient stores are difficult to hold while it has been so mild and “wets” in bags are a problem for some growers.
IFA: Harvesting conditions in Ireland ‘very difficult’, European growers hoping for movement in fresh markets
According to the IFA, growers in Ireland continue to harvest where possible, with some progress being made in the last week but conditions were very difficult. Ireland’s National Potato Conference will take place next Tuesday November 22nd. Across Europe, on the fresh markets, growers have been pushing for movement to avoid storage costs.
Australia ‘very likely’ to face potato shortage in coming months
It’s “very likely” Australia will face a potato shortage in coming months, the vice-president of horticulture at the Victorian Farmers’ Federation has warned. Kathryn Myers from the Victorian Farmers’ Federation says recent wet weather means farmers haven’t been able to plant potato crops. “It’s just not been possible to get tractors on the ground to work up our paddocks to put potatoes in,” she told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell in an interview.
After USDA risk assessment, NPC urges increased protections to prevent Prince Edward Island potato wart spread
On Thurs., Nov. 10, the National Potato Council (NPC) in the U.S. and a dozen state potato associations issued a letter to USDA Undersecretary of Marketing and Regulatory Services Jenny Moffitt calling on the department to work with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to develop new phytosanitary protocols to prevent the spread of potato wart from Prince Edward Island to U.S. growing areas. USDA concluded the disease is “almost certain to be introduced” to the United States without additional mitigation measures.
IFA: Harvest conditions in Ireland ‘very poor’, European growers push for sales to avoid storage costs
Retail sales and consumption have picked up and stabilised in Ireland since the weather has deteriorated. According to the Irish Farmers Association’s (IFA) weekly market report, harvest conditions remain very poor following heavy rainfall. Across Europe in the fresh consumption sector, a good steady demand is reported, with values in Germany edging higher. While markets are currently flat, growers are pushing for sales to avoid storage costs.
Potato market in the U.S. running hot with holiday demand, shorter crop
Strong demand and higher pricing characterized the potato market in early November, and tight market conditions are expected to continue through the holidays, as Tom Karst reports for The Packer magazine. Lower acreage for fresh market potatoes in Idaho this year, combined with active demand from frozen potato processors, have contributed to higher pricing for this year’s crop. Elevated pricing at both the farm level and at retail are expected in a short crop year.
IFA: Wet conditions hamper potato harvest in Ireland, prices trending higher in Europe
Harvest was ground to a halt in many areas in Ireland over the last week with very wet weather conditions, the outlook for the next week looks unsettled also, the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) says in its weekly potato market report. There are reports of some quality issues with current conditions. Across Europe, those with quality samples are confident and continue to try to force prices higher. There is an anticipation that values will improve in the fresh sector.
USDA report on potato wart crisis: Extent of infestation on Prince Edward Island ‘likely larger’, current mitigation measures ‘insufficient’
On October 14, USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service released a comprehensive report on the current status of the potato wart crisis on Prince Edward Island, Canada, stating that PEI’s potato wart infestation is “likely” larger than reported and that the virus is “almost certain to be introduced” to the United States without additional mitigation measures in place.
Lamb Weston to acquire remaining interests in European joint venture Lamb-Weston/Meijer
Lamb Weston announced today that it will purchase the remaining equity interests in its European joint venture with Meijer Frozen Foods B.V. for €700 million. Upon completion of the transaction, Lamb Weston will own 100% of Lamb-Weston/Meijer. “Lamb-Weston/Meijer was built over the last 28 years, and we’re grateful to Meijer Frozen Foods for their longstanding partnership,” said Tom Werner, President and CEO of Lamb Weston.
NFU welcomes launch of new industry body GB Potatoes
The NFU has welcomed the launch of the voluntary initiative of GB Potatoes this week, which should fill gaps left in the industry since the demise of AHDB Potatoes. NFU Potato Forum Chair Tim Rooke said: “There have been crucial gaps left in the industry since the demise of AHDB Potatoes, such as a dedicated, sector-specific voice for the broader industry… Some growers will therefore welcome this voluntary initiative to help address some of these gaps…”
GB Potatoes: Newly launched trade body aims to ‘bring the industry together’ through all-sector representation
A brand-new industry body, GB Potatoes Ltd, was launched the past week. GB Potatoes says it plans to unite the UK potato industry and work with existing produce trade associations to represent the potato sector’s interests and future development in the wake of AHDB Potatoes discontinuation. Mark Taylor, Inaugural Chair of GB Potatoes said, “Our launch couldn’t come at a more important time for the GB Potato Industry. The Great British Potato needs to be championed!”
Scottish MP continues campaign for seed potato exports post-Brexit
Gordon MP Richard Thomson has continued his campaign to restore access to the export markets in the EU and Northern Ireland for Scottish seed potatoes. Prior to Brexit, Scottish seed potatoes were a crucial import for European markets. However, since January 2021 Scotland’s farmers have been unable to export seed potatoes to the EU, including Northern Ireland, because of changes in trade regulations as a result of Brexit.
Shoppers warned of shorter chips after heatwave and drought blights Britain’s potato crops
Farmers warned supermarkets will be selling shorter chips and smaller potatoes after a lack of rain this summer impacted crops. Tim Rooke, chair of the National Farmers Union’s potato forum, said the industry had struggled. He said the summer had been “very difficult” for the industry, with the yield for those who had not been able to irrigate their crops down between 25 percent and 40 percent.
Global potato market report: ‘Global supply to be lower’
It looks like being a tough season for potatoes across much of the world. The hot dry weather during the growing season in most production countries has had a severe effect on potatoes, as for many other crops, as FreshPlaza reports in an extensive overview of the potato market situation in many potato producing regions and countries around the world.
Retail consumers in the U.S. spent more on potatoes
Potatoes USA says in its latest monthly newsletter that potato retail sales increased in dollar sales but decreased in volume sales from July 2021 – June 2022, compared to the same timeframe a year ago. As consumer prices increased by 10.5%, retail dollar sales increased by 5.7%. The total volume sales decreased 4.4% from the same time a year ago, but they remained above volume sales prior to the pandemic. Dollar sales have continuously increased over the last five years.
Survey: Retail potato prices jump 60% in Britain, farmers say the worst is still to come
The prices of basic foods including chicken, vegetables, milk and potatoes have increased by up to 60% in local supermarkets in Britain over the last six months. According to a report by Joel Adams for Eastern Daily Press (EDP), a standard 2.5kg bag of white potatoes in both Sainsbury’s and Tesco are now an eye-watering 61 or 62% more expensive than in April respectively, and have shot up 51% in Aldi too. Norfolk potato farmers said retail prices continue to climb through the autumn.