Latest news stories from around the World

Searching for spuds: Potato farmers in Alberta prepare for french fry facility expansion

McCain Foods announced its largest investment in company history at its Alberta processing plant in Canada. The company is investing $600 million to more than double the size of its workforce at the plant, from 225 to 485, and double the size of its facility and output. Construction on the expansion is expected to start later this year. As Taylor Simmons reports for CBC News, it’s great news for nearby potato farmers. Michel Camps of CP Farms and Mark Miyanaga of Triple M Farms plan to plant more potatoes.

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Potato Sustainability Alliance podcast: ‘Exploring how to tell the story of sustainability’

“For farmers and the industry to tell an accurate and useful sustainability story for potatoes, we need to incorporate additional aspects into our sustainability programs beyond just asking questions and getting answers and scoring them on a scale,” says John Mesko, Executive Director of the Potato Sustainability Alliance (PSA) during the latest episode of the organization’s podcast series.

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Potato protein: A rising star in the plant-based protein revolution

As of 2023, the global plant-based protein industry continues to experience significant growth and expansion, driven by various factors such as increasing health consciousness, environmental concerns, and ethical considerations. Potato protein, derived from the humble potato, has in recent years emerged as a potential game-changer in the plant protein industry. Potato protein is attracting considerable attention for its unique properties, sustainability, and versatility.

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‘Enjoy the little things’: The Little Potato Company unveils big brand refresh

The Little Potato Company today unveiled a new brand look and feel, reflecting its commitment to providing busy families with quick and easy meal solutions. The new visual identity features new family-friendly packaging with updated product names, brand characters, a refreshed website and social channels. “We refreshed the brand with a new brand promise, to bring little moments of happiness to busy families,” said Angela Santiago, CEO and co-founder of The Little Potato Company.

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CFIA: Potato wart not detected during national survey in 2022

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced in a news release this week that it has completed its 2022 national survey for potato wart, and confirms that potato wart was not detected in the soil samples tested from the fields where the samples were collected. CFIA says this survey is an important step in the Government of Canada’s efforts to help contain and control the spread of potato wart and reassure domestic and international trading partners.

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Remach appointment strengthens Haith’s European presence

Haith Group has appointed Remach BV to represent it in Holland and Belgium. Duane Hill, Haith’s managing director, says the two companies have a great deal in common. Remach’s owner, Krijn van Groningen says his company is pleased to become the exclusive importer and dealer of Haith Group machinery for the Netherlands and Belgium.

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Could Kenyan farmers soon start supplying potatoes to KFC?

Fast food companies in Kenya are increasingly turning to local potato farmers to supply their needs, according to a news report by Jacktone Lawi, published by The Star. Previously, major brands such as KFC had sourced their potatoes from South Africa and Egypt. However, a new consortium has been formed to help smallholder farmers increase yields and reduce post-harvest losses.

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Researchers pioneer new eco-friendly plastic alternative made from potato starch

The Spanish University of Alicante’s Waste, Energy, Environment and Nanotechnology (REMAN) research group has developed a process to obtain a water-soluble plastic material based on potato starch. It will soon be introduced on the market through the UA technology-based company Solublion. This new material is also compostable and biodegradable, so it is suitable for use as a flexible film, preferably in bags and packaging, and has great advantages over existing materials.

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McCain Foods makes largest global investment in its history in Canadian processing plant

McCain Foods today announced that it is making a substantial investment in its Coaldale, Alberta processing plant, doubling the size of the facility and its output. “The development in Alberta marks our largest global investment in our 65-year history, totalling $600 million, while underscoring our commitment to the future of agriculture and innovation in Canada,” said Max Koeune, President & Chief Executive Officer, McCain Foods.

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How potato peels are revolutionizing the processed food industry

Have you ever wondered what happens to the tons of potato peels left over after making your favorite crispy fries or mashed potatoes? While they may seem like a waste, these humble peels are now revolutionizing the processed food industry in ways you never imagined. This article explores how potato peels are changing the food industry and the thinking about food waste.

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Commercial farming in Ireland ‘simply not viable’ this year, says IFA president

Many Irish potato farmers “will be forced out of business” unless the prices charged by farmers are increased, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association. As Robert Besser reports for Big News Network, Farmers’ Association president Tim Cullinan said commercial potato farming is “simply not viable” this year due to increased land rentals, fertilizer, fuel, and storage costs.

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United Potato Growers of Canada pleased to welcome re-joining members

At the recent Ontario Potato Board Trade Show and Conference in Guelph, Ontario, and following the recent meeting of the Ontario Board of Directors, the United Potato Growers of Canada is very pleased to announce that the Ontario Potato Board has voted to rejoin the UPGC as the representative of their potato grower members in the province of Ontario, effectively immediately.

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Export value increases for all U.S. potato types from July – Dec. 2022

With international markets across the globe showing solid signs of recovery, it’s no surprise that the value of U.S. potato exports was up for all potato types July – Dec. 2022, compared with the same six months in 2021. During this time, the volume of U.S. shipments was also up for frozen and dehydrated potatoes but down slightly for fresh potatoes, according to a news report issued by Potatoes USA.

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British farmers warn of potato and veg shortages later this year

Farmers are warning the food shortage crisis will get worse later in the year, due to the prolonged dry spell and a shrinkage of irrigated crop production, as Philip Case reports for Farmers Weekly. A combination of a lack of rainfall over the past eight months, rising input and energy costs and stagnant supermarket prices is forcing growers to cut back on crop production.

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UK: Behind the scenes at Lancashire’s premier potato peddlers

Fresh Fylde and Fabulous in Greenhalgh is a potato-grower and manufacturer in Britain which produces some 1,000 tonnes of spuds every single week, supplying the UK food sector with potatoes for their chips, mash, fries, roasties, baked potatoes, rostis, crisps, hash browns, and the odd dauphinoise.

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The ‘Windsor Framework’: Its impact on seed potatoes

On 27 February, the European Commission and the UK Government reached a political agreement in principle on the so-called Windsor Framework. Europatat says it welcomes this positive development and “we hope for a swift implementation of the new Framework”.

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PepsiCo brings hybrid potato seed to Ethiopia

Senselet Food Processing PLC (Senselet), PepsiCo’s Ethiopia-based foods unit, has teamed up with Dutch hybrid potato innovator Solynta to bring hybrid true potato seeds (HTPS) to Ethiopia, as Zachary Sosland reports for Baking Business. PepsiCo already has invested $40 million in Ethiopian potato chip production, and this new partnership makes it the leading Ethiopian potato processing company.

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RJ Andrus of Idaho elected National Potato Council President

The National Potato Council (NPC) installed its 2023 roster of Executive Committee members this week at the organization’s annual Washington Summit. During the Annual Meeting of the Voting Delegates, RJ Andrus of Idaho Falls, Idaho, was elected to serve as the Council’s President for the next 12 months.

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Why Dominic LaJoie is The Packer’s 2023 Potato Person of the Year

It was personalities before policy to kick off the six-day 2023 National Potato Council Washington Summit — and one particular person whose calm, caring and thoughtful demeanor won him recognition he didn’t expect, as Amy Sowder reports for The Packer. As he accepted the award, Dominic LaJoie said how much he appreciated those who helped maintain his family business, LaJoie Growers, and his home while he traveled.

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Report: Climate change could hit 80% of smallholder farmers and reduce arable land

The What climate-smart agriculture means for smallholder farmers, report by McKinsey & Company reveals climate change will also severely affect land suitability for crop production. With snallholder farmers producing a third of the world’s food and demand set to soar 60% by 2050, this could pose a threat to global food security. McKinsey’s report identifies 33 climate adaptation and mitigation measures for smallholder farmers, from rotational grazing to dry direct-seeding technologies.

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TOMRA Food offers flexible sorting solutions for Simplot’s french fry production line in Tasmania

Simplot sought a complete turnkey solution for their french fries production line in Tasmania. Fortunately, TOMRA Food offered sorting solutions that could be integrated with some of Simplot’s existing equipment. The sorting solutions offered by TOMRA Food enable Simplot to adjust their sorting procedures according to specific standards, ensuring they meet their customers’ targets while maintaining flexibility.

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Researcher seeks input on factors influencing farmers’ adoption of Smart Farming Technology

Grainne Dilleen, a researcher at South East Technological University in Ireland, is conducting a Ph.D study to investigate the internal and external factors that influence farmers’ intention to adopt Smart Farming Technology (SFT). Specifically, she is interested in the role of trust in technology providers and the influence of the farmer’s network on the adoption decision. Grainne looks forward to hear from potato farmers worldwide.

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Lasers, drones and AI: The future of weeding

No-one likes weeding, but new technology is helping farmers around the world tackle weeds in a more efficient and environmentally friendly way, as David Silverberg reports in a news report for BBC News. Deanna Kovar from US farming equipment giant John Deere says that the company’s new tractor-pulled weed sprayer can reduce herbicide use by two thirds. For farmers elsewhere in the world, a number of rival firms, both large and small, have developed similar smart-weeding technologies.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor & Publisher

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