Trade/Markets/Prices

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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French-fry airlift gives McDonald’s Japan a brief respite during shortage crisis

McDonald’s put medium and large servings of french fries back on its Japanese menu Friday after flying in much-needed supplies, ending a weeklong restriction caused by shortages that have stymied the nation’s food industry. While the restriction has been lifted for now, there is concern that McDonald’s could limit serving sizes once again, depending on inventory levels.

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Albert Bartlett grows profits amid challenging conditions

Scottish potato specialist Albert Bartlett has underlined the challenges posed by Brexit and cost inflation amid the continued fallout from the pandemic after enjoying a surge in profits. The privately-owned firm grew turnover to £193.7m in the latest year, from £177.2m.

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CFIA: No new potato wart detected in national survey

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has completed its national survey for potato wart ahead of schedule, and potato wart was not detected, the agency says in a press release. The expedited completion of the survey marks an important step in the Government of Canada’s action plan to reassure international trading partners of the safety of Canadian seed potatoes, CFIA says in its press release.

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Borderlands: US potato farmers preparing for Mexico opening

After nearly 25 years of export bans, U.S. potato farmers could begin to distribute and sell more fresh potatoes across all of Mexico by early 2022. American potato farmers and exporters currently are barred from selling fresh potatoes in Mexico due to restrictions by the Mexican government, namely that U.S. growers can only sell them within about a 16-mile zone across the Mexican border.

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Trade ban clouds solid potato year for Canadian farmers

It was a good year for Canada’s potato farmers in 2021 with seeded and harvested acres and yields reaching levels not seen for more than a decade, according to Statistics Canada estimates. However, significant challenges remain with Prince Edward Island, the nation’s largest producer, dealing with an export ban while a tough weather year in the west might mean production will fall short of being able to meet an increase in processing capacity.

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Potato wart situation was ‘mismanaged,’ says Prince Edward Island farmer

A potato farmer on Prince Edward Island’s North Shore in Canada is wondering how the situation with potato wart got to the point where the U.S. border is closed to fresh potatoes from the Island. Klaas Nieuwhof told CBC’s Island Morning he was packing potatoes when he got a phone call and learned the border was closing.

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Ukraine negotiating potato exports to the EU

The State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection addressed the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety with a proposal to consider the possibility of launching Ukrainian potato exports to the European Union. Ukraine and its European colleagues are currently discussing the need to appoint in 2022 inspections by European experts to launch Ukrainian potato exports to the EU.

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Chairman of the PEI Potato Board on potato trade ban: ‘This is heartbreaking…’

A convoy of almost 40 trucks, including 16 potato trucks carrying half a million pounds of fresh potatoes, made its way through the streets of Prince Edward Island’s Charlottetown yesterday along with series of heartfelt messages directed at the federal government. “The last four weeks have been horrible for Island farmers, but we’re not giving up,” said John Visser, Prince Edward Island farmer and Chairman of the PEI Potato Board in a press release.

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Canadian govt announces $28 million to help P.E.I. potato growers cope with export ban

Today, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (AAFC) Marie-Claude Bibeau announced $28 million in funding to support Prince Edward Island (PEI) potato farmers affected by trade disruptions. The Government of Canada says in a press release it is taking a Team Canada approach and working collaboratively with the Province of PEI and industry to support potato growers and resume full market access for PEI fresh potatoes.

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CFIA: Potato wart investigation could take until 2023

An official from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the investigation into the discovery of potato wart in two P.E.I. fields could take until 2023 to complete. As Nancy Russell reports for CBC News, a group from CFIA made a presentation Friday afternoon to members of the legislature’s standing committee on natural resources. Committee chair Cory Deagle was so taken aback by the mention of 2023 he asked the presenter to repeat what he had just said.

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Mexican officials inspect US potatoes in latest fresh-market access development

The Colorado Potato Administrative Committee (CPAC) recently hosted a site visit by Mexican authorities for the purpose of U.S. exporters fully gaining fresh potato access to Mexico. As Spudman magazine reports, this site visit is one of the final requirements as the Mexican government moves toward restoring market access for U.S. fresh potatoes.

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Potato wart: NPC releases statement on today’s meeting with the P.E.I. delegation

Statement issued by Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council (NPC): “We were pleased to sit down with Premier Dennis King and a delegation from Prince Edward Island this morning for a conversation about safely and efficiently restoring trade with this important province for both the U.S. and Canadian potato industries. NPC reiterated that this is a plant health issue, not a trade dispute, and we strongly support the USDA commitment to protect the U.S. potato industry from this devastating disease. …

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Parliamentarians: British seed potato farmers continue to face Brexit struggle

Farmers in Britain have warned they face increasing pressure from restrictions imposed by Brexit on trade of seed potatoes. Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin and Gordon MP Richard Thomson met with seed potato farmer John Lind and NFUS Vice-President Andrew Connon, to discuss the issues being faced by the sector. They expressed concern about how long the ban may be in place.

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Ban of P.E.I. spuds to U.S. won’t be resolved this year: minister

The ban of Prince Edward Island’s potatoes to the U.S. won’t end this month, federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said Wednesday. “It would be ambitious to think it could be solved by the end of the year, considering the date,” Bibeau said. “It’s a top priority. … I’ve had quite a few conversations with (U.S. Agriculture) Secretary (Tom) Vilsack directly.”

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United Potato Growers of Canada opens new front in efforts to open U.S. border

The United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC) have opened a new front in the efforts to get the U.S. border open to fresh Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) potatoes. “We thought it would be easier to talk grower to grower, group to group,” said Kevin MacIsaac, executive director of the United Potato Growers of Canada. The farmer-to-farmer talks are focused initially on opening exports to Puerto Rico

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Brexit impact: Europatat urges EU and UK policy makers to reach agreement on seed potato trade ‘soon’

Europatat is calling on EU and UK policy makers to break the deadlock and to reach an agreement on the resumption in the bilateral trade of seed potatoes. “It is especially important that this is done soon, so as to avoid the possibility of regulatory divergence emerging between the EU and UK markets, further hindering the opportunities for mutually beneficial bilateral trade,” Europatat says.

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Farm Credit Canada to support PEI potato producers impacted by export ban

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) says it is offering support to customers in Prince Edward Island (PEI) who could be facing production or cash flow challenges as a result of the temporary ban on PEI potato exports to the United States. “On the heels of one of the best crops in years, the PEI potato community is concerned they no longer have access to the valuable market due to the temporary ban on potato exports to the U.S,” said Gil Miner, assistant vice-president for FCC’s Atlantic operations.

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NPC CEO weighs in on soil sampling data and the spread of potato wart on PEI

Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council (NPC) calls in via the organization’s Eye on Potatoes podcast to discuss how CFIA’s own data – which is said to “demonstrate a clear and troubling reduction in sampling”, and how this leaves the industries on both sides of the border with uncertainties about the spread of the disease on PEI and what the future holds for reopening trade with this important industry partner.

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