Trends

Singapore hit by french fry shortage amid global disruption

Southeast Asian fast-food chains are being hit by a shortage of French fries as supply-chain snarls slow shipments of the frozen item from the U.S. and Europe. Signs at some of Yum! Brands Inc.’s KFC outlets in Singapore informed customers that the company would replace side orders of fries with potato waffles due to a “global supply disruption.”

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Danish potato protein to improve plant-based meat solutions

As the first in the world, the innovative Danish ingredients company KMC has managed to create textured potato protein that can be used as an ingredient in plant-based meat. The unique properties of potato protein have the potential to revolutionize plant-based meat products with an improved texture and nutritional values. The innovation is part of KMC’s strategy to find new uses for potato-based ingredients.

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Farm Bureau: Record US potato prices expected into 2022

The Farm Bureau says potatoes have been able to buck the price drop trend amongst vegetables. The 2% smaller crop from 2020 (a fourth consecutive annual decline) combined with strong North American and international processing demand lifted U.S. seasonal-average potato prices above $10/cwt for an average 14% price increase between 2020 and 2021.

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French fry rationing continues in Japan

Earlier this month, you may have heard that McDonald’s Japan announced it was resuming sales of medium and large-size orders of French fries. Coming at the end of a month of fry rationing, many hoped that this was the fried-golden light at the end of the tunnel that they’d been waiting for…but instead, it’s turned out to be just a brief moment of normalcy.

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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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Skinny spud latte to go? Potato milk hits UK supermarket shelves

First came soya, nut and then oat but the new challenger to the plant milk crown is the humble spud as potato milk arrives on UK supermarket shelves. Described as “deliciously creamy” and capable of producing the “perfect foam” for a homemade latte or cappuccino, the Swedish potato milk brand Dug goes on sale in 220 Waitrose stores this week.

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NEPG: Concerns about rising costs, contract prices

All inputs have shown rising prices in the last months, going from energy to fertilizers, plant protection products and construction prices but also machines and spare parts, the North-Western European Potato Growers (NEPG) organization says. The NEPG points out that costs of renting a hectare of land not only have gone up, but “potato land” is sometimes impossible to find.

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China: Potatoes in rice paddies?

A recent article published by a team of CIP scientists in the American Journal of Potato Research finds that integrating potato into rice farming systems in southern China can yield some benefits for smallholder farmers, but also brings some challenges that must be anticipated for achieving optimal yields. According to the article’s lead author, Lao Yu, a research assistant at the China’s High Latitude Crops Institute, rotating rice and potato crops in paddies generates both economic and ecological benefits.

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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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NASA and NOAA: ‘Warmer now than in at least the past 2,000 years, probably longer’

The numbers are in: Earth is still running a fever. NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their annual assessment of global temperatures and found that 2021 was the sixth warmest year on record. “It’s certainly warmer now than at any time in at least the past 2,000 years and probably much longer,” said Russell S. Vose, the climate analysis chief of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

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Opinion: China’s ‘new money’ is the potato, thanks to COVID

“The Digital Yuan is no longer relevant. A new currency has been adopted by the People’s Republic of China. The Potato is its name,” writes Jeff Salle in an opinion piece published by CengNews. Salle writes that according to Charles Burton, a China watcher at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, university students in Xian prefer to pay for tutoring with potatoes rather than cash. Do you need cotton swabs in that 13-million-strong city in central China? The currency is potatoes.

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‘Think of farm data as your biggest ally,’ says John Deere’s Division Business Manager

Adrian Saenz presented last week during the Potato Business Summit, held in conjunction with Potato Expo 2022. Saenz is currently the Division Business Manager for the John Deere Agricultural & Turf Division within Deere. During his presentation, titled “Ag Technology Outlook”, Adrian Saenz highlighted the importance – and abundance – of data that modern commercial farmers are able to gather via technological means nowadays.

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Global supply crisis: A growing shortage of french fries, from Japan to Kenya

As Miriam Berger reports in an article for The Washington Post, a number of popular items, including marmite and cream cheese, have faced scarcities amid supply chain disruptions wrought by the coronavirus pandemic and extreme weather. Potatoes are the latest to join the list, becoming unevenly available in some countries and fast-food chains because of a confluence of factors.

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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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‘Bud’ the robot fries weeds with lasers instead of chemicals

Like “The Terminator” for weeds, the Carbon Robotics machine, dubbed “Bud,” rolls through farm fields using artificial intelligence to discern weeds from crops and using a high-power laser to kill the weeds. This lets farmers cultivate crops with less herbicide and reduced labor, improving crop yields and saving money.

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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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UK farm business outlook 2022

Potatoes and sugar beet share some agronomic challenges but the structural ones differ. As Robert Harris reports for Farmers Weekly, the balance of margins in the potato sector needs addressing, while a whole-rotation costings approach to the beet crop could help grower decision-making. Many growers will be nursing financial damage or losses from the past two years of potato production.[Read More…]

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Potatoes USA: 2021 foodservice potato menu trends

Potatoes USA has issued a comprehensive research report depicting the potato category’s penetration on menus across different segments, dayparts, cuisines, and much more. According to the report, potatoes have a presence on 82.9% of restaurant menus in the U.S., and fast-casual restaurants are projected to experience the most growth of potatoes, 5%, over the next four years.

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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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