Trade/Markets/Prices

Opinion: ‘Prince Edward Island potatoes in the eye of an unfair trade war with U.S.’

“There is nothing a sovereign government loves better than a pretext for good old trade protectionism,” writes Greg Donald, general manager of the PEI Potato Board in a Toronto Star opinion piece. “Maddeningly, the pretext is nonsense, unsupported by science. Unfortunately, it was originally provided to the Americans by our own federal government,” Donald writes.

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Canada restores exports of PEI table stock potatoes to Puerto Rico

Today, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), announced that the United States has agreed to resume imports of Prince Edward Island (PEI) table stock potatoes into Puerto Rico starting tomorrow. AAFC says “the Government of Canada has been taking a science-based approach with the United States to provide the necessary assurances that would allow for the resumption of trade for PEI’s high-quality fresh potatoes.”

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NPC responds to resumption of potato trade between PEI and Puerto Rico

The National Potato Council (NPC) today released a statement in response to news of the resumption of trade of table stock potatoes from Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada, into Puerto Rico. “We trust USDA and CFIA have put plans in place to strictly prohibit the resale of fresh potatoes to the mainland in order to prevent the potential spread of disease to U.S. potato farms,” said NPC CEO Kam Quarles.

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USDA allows resumption of Prince Edward Island tablestock potatoes into Puerto Rico

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the resumption of tablestock potatoes from Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada, into Puerto Rico. USDA has determined the importation of these potatoes under specified conditions poses little risk of introducing potato wart disease, a soil-borne disease that reduces yield and marketability, to Puerto Rico.

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The great McDonald’s fry shortage is spreading to more countries

In the last couple of months, McDonald’s and KFC outlets in countries across the globe have begun scrimping on French fries and other potato-based products. Writing for Modern Farmer, author Dan Nosowitz pointed to a “lack of versatility” in the global agricultural trade as the root of current problems, as opposed to a shortage of potatoes themselves.

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Prince Edward Island potato disposal plan to roll out in February

Prince Edward Island potato growers in Canada have submitted their applications to dispose of some of the potatoes left unsold because of the export ban to the United States, as Nancy Russell reports for CBC News. The closure leaves Island farmers with an estimated 300 million pounds of potatoes they cannot sell.

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Conference: Poor infrastructure a blow to Scottish seed potato exports

Scotland is particularly poorly served by the low standards of export facilities available at the country’s ports – its sub-standard transport and supply chain logistics have added to an already difficult situation for the country’s seed potato industry. This lack of comparable facilities and network infrastructure to those enjoyed by the competition in Holland and other European countries has stymied efforts to make good the loss of EU markets.

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Diversion of surplus potatoes: Governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island to deliver funding

Earlier this week, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, along with Prince Edward Island Minister of Agriculture and Land Bloyce Thompson, announced details on the Surplus Potato Management Response plan in a press release. As part of this plan, the Government of Canada will provide up to $28 million and the Province of PEI up to $12.2 million.

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Post-Spudpocalyptic world: ‘It’s like oranges in Florida, grapes for California – this is their livelihood’

The “Spudpocalyse” could at last be over. American and Canadian officials are moving to overcome an impasse that has curbed potato trade from Prince Edward Island (PEI) over the past two months, Canada’s agriculture chief told The Hill on Friday. “To Prince Edward Island, it’s catastrophic,” said Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau. “It is like oranges in Florida, grapes for California. This is their livelihood.

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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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