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Keep up to date with the latest HZPC news and global potato news.




Potato News

Tasmanian McCain potato growers gain price increase

Tasmanian potato growers, supplying McCain now will receive a long-awaited price increase; grower Beau Gooch said the $33 per ton increase would help put profitability back. “It’s the biggest price rise we have had for a lot of years. It’s going to make a lot of difference. The price rises we have had the last few years haven’t even really kept up with CPI. We have had small pay rises, but none of them really stayed in the farmer’s pockets, we are hoping that this one rectifies that.”
9/11/2019

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NEPG: Above average European potato harvest expected

The NEPG (North-Western European Potato Growers) estimates the forecasted potato harvest for the 2019 season to be between 27 and 27,3 million tons for the 5 leading European potato producing countries. The NEPG estimate at this time is said to be 3% more than the 5 year average, and 12% more than last year. At this stage, the estimates are mainly based upon trial digs performed recently.
9/10/2019

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Canada: Less than 1 percent of Prince Edward Island potato crop harvested as hurricane Dorian blows through

For about 10 days, Hurricane Dorian has been making headlines in the news and it continues to cause damage. It lost its hurricane-force winds and was considered a post-tropical cyclone when it made landfall in Canada’s Nova Scotia province on Saturday night. In addition to Nova Scotia, the storm made significant impact on Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick as it blew through with winds up to 90 mph. According to Nova Scotia Power, more than 474,000 customers in these three provinces were without power.
9/9/2019

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McCain to dial up potato fry production in Canada

The company behind about a quarter of the world’s frozen french fries plans to ramp up demand from Canada’s New Brunswick potato growers with a line capacity upgrade at its recently expanded plant there, according to a report by GFM Staff. McCain Foods announced Aug. 27 it will put up another $12 million to add capacity to its Florenceville, N.B. plant’s French fry line dedicated to food service and retail customers.
9/9/2019

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Desiccation: Smart app ‘WatchITgrow’ potato farmers said to use up to 50% less chemicals

The quality of the potato harvest depends on many factors – obviously weather conditions, crop protection and fertilization, but the timely, accurate and correct haulm killing of potato tops is also of great importance, says the WatchITgrow app program team at VITO in Belgium. Using satellite images in WatchITgrow, one can see how green the tops of the potatoes are. And now you can also produce ‘task maps‘ to apply top-killing products variably.
9/6/2019

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NORPAC’s buyer plans to close processing plant, lay off 485 workers

The Oregon Potato Co. plans to close a plant in Stayton next month and lay off all 485 employees who work there, beginning at the end of October, The Oregonian reports. Farmers cooperative NORPAC filed for bankruptcy last month and agreed to sell its assets to Oregon Potato for $155.5 million. NORPAC’s Stayton food processing plant wasn’t initially part of the sale, but the cooperative notified employees last week that Oregon Potato does now plan to buy that facility – and to close it.
9/6/2019

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Potatoes USA drops culinary group, asks other ag groups to follow

Potatoes USA is ending its investment in and association with the Culinary Institute of America. The Packer reports that Blair Richardson, president and CEO of Potatoes USA, announced the group’s decision in an Aug. 30 update at the Idaho Growers Shipper Association convention. He said the decision wasn’t easy but was ultimately necessary because of anti-potato messaging from the culinary group, a nonprofit that helps train chefs.
9/6/2019

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Tong Engineering’s Caretaker sorter now includes advanced optical sorting feature for dirty crops

Since Tong Engineering launched the option of integrated optical sorting within its market leading grading machine, the Caretaker, in 2016, the inclusion of advanced optical sorting on dirty grading systems has proved to be a very welcome addition. Introduced to offer potato and vegetable growers and processors automated optical sorting of dirty crop, Tong has been offering the option within its Caretaker mobile grader and static grading lines, as an alternative to traditional manual inspection facilities.
9/5/2019

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US potato farmers seek new trade deal with Mexico to ‘level the playing field’

Potato farmers are asking U.S. agricultural officials for support in expanding export trade into Mexico, writes Noi Mahoney in Freight Waves. Currently, American potato farmers and exporters are mostly barred from selling fresh potatoes in Mexico due to restrictions by the Mexican government, namely that U.S. growers can only sell fresh potatoes within a 26-kilometer (about 16-mile) zone across the Mexican border.
9/5/2019

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New campaign recognizes Idaho potato farmers

Many say potatoes put Idaho on the map. The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) doesn’t disagree, but likes to say potatoes and their dedicated growers put Idaho on the map. The Produce News reports that recently, the IPC created a social media campaign, Thank a Farmer, to introduce the women and men who work tirelessly year-round and often around the clock to annually produce America’s favorite vegetable, the Idaho potato.
9/4/2019

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Potato tuber greening: A review of redisposing factors, management and future challenges

In this scientific paper, published in the American Journal of Potato Research, scientists Sabine Tanios, Alieta Eyles, Robert Tegg, and Calum Wilson wrote that greening is a major cause of quality loss in potato tubers. As underground stems, potato tubers are non-photosynthetic plantorgans that lack photosynthetic machinery. However, after light exposure, amyloplasts convert to chloroplasts in tuber peripheralcell layers, which cause the accumulation of the green photosynthetic pigment, chlorophyll.
9/4/2019

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Sweet potatoes vs. potatoes: Which are healthier? Nutritionists weigh in

Potatoes are practical and delish, but they’ve gotten a bit of a bad rap, nutritionally speaking. Sweet potatoes have swooped in as a trendy tater alternative, and so began the sweet potato vs. potato health debate. This, according to an article written by Jennifer Nied and published in Women’s Health magazine. But are sweet potatoes truly healthier than potatoes? Nied asks. She writes that Keri Gans, MS, RDN, nutrition consultant and author of The Small Change Diet, and Sonya Angelone, MS, RDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, get to the root of this dietary dilemma.
9/4/2019

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Haith to unveil new 2020 washer and de-stoner at British Potato 2019 event

With its new washer, Haith aims to bring all of the innovative market-leading features found its top of the range Supa-wash to the broader market. Haith’s original Supa-wash was designed to handle 25 to 50 tonnes per hour. Haith’s 2020 Washer and De-stoner is designed to appeal to people processing 10 to 25 tonnes per hour. Visitors to Haith’s stand at the British Potato 2019 event in Harrogate in November will be the first to see the new design.
9/3/2019

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US-based Campbell Soup to sell its European chips business

Campbell Soup has agreed to sell its European chips business, including UK-based Kettle Foods and Netherlands-based Yellow Chips B.V., to Valeo Foods, a portfolio company of CapVest Partners LLP, for approximately $80 million. The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of fiscal-year 2020. It is part of the company’s ongoing divestiture of its international business as it narrows its focus on its core canned soup unit and snacks.
9/2/2019

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Event: British potato growers to look at chemical and mechanical alternatives for diquat

During the coming AHDB hosted Strategic Farm North Desiccation Day in North Lincolnshire, potato growers will look at the effects of a number of alternative ag chemicals and mechanical options following the loss of diquat for desiccation.The event will take place on Thursday, 5 September. AHDB says the loss of the popular herbicide has had significant ramifications for multiple grower’s desiccation strategies, due to its common usage, and the limited alternatives available that are as effective and economical.
9/2/2019

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Pictorial: CIP and Peru join forces to honour potatoes at Beijing horticultural expo event

The “International Potato Center and Peru Joint Honorary Day” theme event was held today as part of the Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition in Yanqing District in Beijing, the capital of China. Xinhuanet published a number of pictures on its website related to the event. Go to Potato News Today to see some of these pictures..
9/1/2019

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Big Idaho Potato Truck rolls on; high-quality crop expected

According to a report by The Packer, the Big Idaho Potato Truck will be back for another year of rolling promotions for what is expected to be a high-quality potato crop, Idaho Potato Commission president and CEO Frank Muir told attendees at the 2019 Idaho Grower Shippers Association Convention. In previewing the commission’s marketing and promotion plans at the Sun Valley meeting, Muir said the 2019 crop was on track for good quality on slightly fewer acres.
8/31/2019

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World Potato Congress Inc confirms commitment to African potato sector at APA Congress in Rwanda

During a presentation at the official opening of the 11th African Potato Congress in Kigali, Rwanda earlier this week, World Potato Congress Inc President Romain Cools announced the ongoing commitment of his organization to be a partner of the African potato sector. President Cools illustrated this commitment by referring to the active role of African potato specialists in WPC’s global organization.
8/30/2019

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Increased potato consumption expected in Ireland

Consumption is expected to increase this week as schools re-open after the summer break, the Tipperary Times reports. According to the report, favourable weather has improved digging conditions in areas that were affected by heavy rain last week however, digging of new season Rooster is taking a back seat this week as a lot of farmers are busy harvesting cereals.
8/29/2019

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Rwanda ready to trial GM potato varieties

Rwanda is set to join other Eastern Africa countries in growing genetically modified (GM) potato varieties, a technology that has, in the past, attracted wide-ranging public scrutiny in the country. Dr. Patrick Karangwa, the Director General of the Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), told participants at the African Potato Association (APA) in Kigali that the country will try a potato variety called Victoria because it has proven to be resistant to late blight, a destructive potato disease locally known as ‘Imvura’.
8/29/2019

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More US potatoes destined for Japan? Market expected to grow by another $150 million

On Sunday, August 25, it was announced that an agreement has been struck on agricultural trade between the U.S. and Japan. The announcement was made at the G7 meeting in Biarritz, France. The National Potato Council (NPC) in the US is strongly supporting the agreement. “This announcement is welcome news for our industry. It allows U.S. potato exporters to recapture vital momentum in Japan and level the playing field against foreign competitors,” said Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council.
8/28/2019

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Join the CIP-organized entry level training school on using potato biodiversity in breeding

The International Potato Center (CIP) is organizing an entry level training school where you will learn about crop biodiversity and how genetic resources can be used in pre-breeding. The training school will take place at the International Potato Center (CIP) in Lima from November 5th until November 7th, 2019. This training school is aimed at (Junior) potato breeders and researchers from Latin America who are interested in potato biodiversity, how to utilize this in breeding, and the use of modern breeding techniques.
8/28/2019

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AVR to showcase new digging unit, updated planter and other equipment at Potato Europe 2019 event

At the upcoming Potato Europe in Kain, Belgium, agricultural machinery manufacturer AVR will be presenting its new ‘quick-change’ digging unit. As of 2020, this option will be available on all 2-row trailed AVR harvesters. The existing digging unit was adapted in such a way that it can be easily dismounted, without having to open the digging web or remove the shear holder separately. The entire digging unit frame and the digging unit can be removed in no time. To do so, all the user has to do is detach a few mechanical couplings and clamps.
8/28/2019

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China imposes new tariffs on US potatoes

This past Friday, August 23, China responded to prior U.S. tariff threats by releasing a new list of targeted American products. Among them were new tariffs on potatoes and potato products. “We have been urging all sides to come to the negotiating table rather than continue ratcheting up the pressure. A reasonable agreement can be achieved, but talks need to replace threats in the very near future,” said Kam Quarles, National Potato Council (NPC) CEO.
8/27/2019

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Have your say on the future of seed potato standards in Britain

Red Tractor are looking for industry feedback on potential changes to the Safe Haven Standards, the seed potato assurance scheme in the UK. New standards likely to be added to the scheme cover areas such as water use, storage best practice and traceability. The strengthened standards will now mean that the scheme will also cover Brown Rot and Epitrix on top of the existing coverage of Ring Rot and Dickeya
8/27/2019

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More US potatoes destined for Japan? Market expected to grow by another $150 million

This past Sunday, August 25, it was announced that an agreement has been struck on agricultural trade between the U.S. and Japan. The announcement was made at the G7 meeting in Biarritz, France. The National Potato Council (NPC) in the US is strongly supporting the agreement. “This announcement is welcome news for our industry. It allows U.S. potato exporters to recapture vital momentum in Japan and level the playing field against foreign competitors,” said Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council.
8/27/2019

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APA Conference: Potato organizations want to leverage potatoes to address malnutrition in Africa

Potato organizations on Monday called for deliberate efforts to increase potato and sweet potatoes production for sustainable nutritious food systems in Africa. They made the call at the opening of the 11th triennial Conference of the African Potato Association (APA) in Kigali, capital city of Rwanda. Potato and sweet potatoes present global opportunities such as enhancing dietary quality in resource-poor countries, improving productivity and farm income as well as facilitating climate change adaption, said Oscar Ortiz, deputy director general of the International Potato Center.
8/26/2019

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Wada Farms: Exceptional quality in 2019 Colorado potato crop

The Produce News reports that Wada Farms Marketing Group LLC in Idaho Falls, ID is anticipating excellent quality in its 2019 Colorado potato crop according to Michele Peterson, who heads the company’s Colorado sales office in Monte Vista in the San Luis Valley. When The Produce News talked to Peterson on Aug. 15, she was expecting Wada Farms to begin shipping potatoes out of the San Luis Valley the following week, making the company among the first in Colorado with new crop potatoes from the 2019 harvest. By the first of September, “we should be running full steam ahead.”
8/26/2019

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Idaho potato harvest progress slow due to heat

Emily Hone of the Bingham County Chronicle in Idaho reports that the unusual and unpredictable weather that has plagued Idaho’s farmers the past few years progressed this year from crops being planted up to three weeks late, slowing germination and emergence of the plants, to harvest being late and taking place at unusual hours. At least in Bingham County.
8/26/2019

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Certis launched ‘Tubercare’ initiative to help British seed potato supply chain

Potato tuber health is the aim of a new campaign launched to help the British seed potato supply chain improve quality. As the foundation for profitable potato production, minimising the incidence of viral and fungal pathogens when producing seed crops is paramount and conditions in recent seasons, such as the hot and dry summer of 2018, have seen seed producers across Britain battling to keep some viral and fungal pathogens out of seed stocks.
8/25/2019

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Potato specialist: ‘Is the late blight pathogen adapting to weather changes?’

This is the question that Dr Eugenia Banks from Ontario in Canada put to the readers of her email newsletter earlier today. Dr Banks is a potato specialist with the Ontario Potato Board. “The breaking news last week was the detection of late blight on August 19 in six fields located in Minidoka County in Southern Idaho. The weather there is dry; This sort of weather is not favorable for late blight, so it came as a surprise to find six fields infected, all with US 23, the tomato strain,” Dr Banks says. 
8/25/2019

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McDonald’s spent nearly $136 million on Idaho commodities in 2018

McDonald’s Corp. spent nearly $136 million on Idaho agricultural commodities to supply its fast food restaurants during 2018, according to a recently released corporate report. During the year, the Chicago-based fast-food giant purchased 271.285 million pounds of Idaho potatoes. McDonald’s also bought 58.3 million pounds of cheese, 14.9 million pounds of beef, 6.4 million pounds of sugar and 2.3 million pounds of onions from Idaho producers.
8/24/2019

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Canada: Lethbridge College, potato growers to partner for irrigation study

Lethbridge College announced on Thursday it will be partnering with local potato growers to study irrigation and watering methods in the region. The four-year research project is a partnership between Lethbridge College’s Centre for Applied Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the Potato Growers of Alberta. It is made possible through a grant from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
8/23/2019

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Oregon Potato Company takes control of NORPAC Foods

NORPAC Foods, Inc., a grower-owned fruit and vegetable cooperative founded in 1924, today announced that it has entered into an asset purchase agreement with Oregon Potato Company under which OPC will acquire substantially all of the Company’s assets.
8/23/2019

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Latest AHDB podcast covers key potato production issues

Coming from Potatoes in Practice in Dundee, this podcast covers key topics from the potato industry, including: Chemical loss, potato nutrition and importance of seed quality for export.
8/22/2019

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Late blight found in some south-central Idaho potato fields

Late blight has been found in several potato fields near Paul, Idaho, the Pacific Northwest Pest Alert Network reports. Capital Press says in an article published today that sporulation was observed on diseased tissue. The University of Idaho is testing to determine the type or strain found.
8/21/2019

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Grimme Field Loader in Ontario a North American first of its kind

Dr Eugenia Banks, potato specialist at the Ontario Potato Board reports that the new Grimme Field Loader arrived in Ontario, Canada from Germany.  HJV Equipment in Alliston has brought the first one of its type in North America. It will be on display at the Ontario Potato Field Day on August 22  at HJV Equipment where growers can get more information on this state-of-the art Grimme machine.
8/20/2019

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US Ag Secretary thanked for support of expanding potato trade with Mexico

The National Potato Council and a dozen other U.S. state and regional potato associations on Aug. 16 thanked Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue for his support of expanded U.S. fresh potato exports to Mexico.
8/20/2019

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Chemical loss takes centre stage at British potato conference

Scottish potato growers have been warned that there might not be a seed industry in Scotland in 30 years’ time if the spread of potato cyst nematode (PCN) continues at its current rate. As growers gathered to attend the UK’s largest potato conference, Potatoes in Practice – at the James Hutton Institute’s Balruddery Farm  – there was a sense of urgency for the industry to unite in its approach to tackling PCN, to ensure the long term survival of the sector.
8/19/2019

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Latest Canadian Potato Crop Update issued

Kevin MacIsaac, General Manager of United Potato Growers of Canada issued the latest extensive update on the potato crop this past Thursday. He thanked all the provincial directors of UPGC for their input on this report.
8/19/2019

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McDonald’s adds international favorites, including sweet potato fries from the Netherlands

Fed up of classic McDonald’s fries? Then make sure you try out the new sweet potato fries that have been introduced as part of the international menu. McDonald’s appears to be looking to correct the fact that their regular fries are nnothing special by introducing sweet potato fries to the menu.
8/18/2019

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Fries are still America’s favorite potato dish

The most popular potato preparation in America is the French fry. That’s according to an analysis of food ordering data between January 2018 and July 2019 by DoorDash, America’s largest food delivery service (and the world’s second-largest, after Uber Eats). Now that DoorDash is delivering from McDonald’s, famous for its fries, maybe the quantity ordered will rise even higher.
8/16/2019

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Germany: Growth opportunities for organic potatoes in out-of-the-home catering

Since mid-June, local organic potatoes from Bavarian fields have been available to retailers, but larger quantities have only been offered since the beginning of the month. “The starting position could be a bit better, but we cannot complain. The demand is still somewhat subdued, but this is normal, because the actual main crop only comes on in early September,” says Nicolai Timaeus, purchasing manager of marketing company Bio-Bauern, based in Pöttmes.
8/16/2019

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PepsiCo-funded research opens new avenues for low-fat snack formulators

Australian researchers have developed a novel method to measure the sensorial characteristics of potato chips. The technique  called vitro oral processing could eliminate the expensive, time-consuming and often subjective perceptions of enlisting trained sensory panellists. Especially when it comes to low-fat snacks.
8/15/2019

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Lack of potatoes in Canada’s Manitoba province described as ‘an anomaly’

Grocery stores around the province haven’t had the usual amount of local potatoes this year. Manager of Keystone Potato Producers Association, Dan Sawatzky claims this is largely due to last year’s crop freezing on many farmers. He says the crop would’ve been okay if it weren’t for the weather.
8/9/2019

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Scientists: Unless PCN is eliminated, ‘there will be no Scottish potato sector left in 25 years’ time’

Plant scientists have warned that unless the industry unites in its efforts to stop the spread of potato cyst nematode (CPN) there will be no Scottish potato sector left in 25 years’ time. Growers attending yesterday’s Potatoes in Practice event on Balruddery Farm at Invergowrie were bombarded by appeals to do more to prevent yet more soil becoming infested after it was discovered the amount of land affected by the pallida species is doubling every six or seven years.
8/9/2019

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Chinese and Scottish researchers establish collaborative links at Potatoes in Practice 2019

Chinese and Scottish researchers are to work together and explore joint solutions to potato breeding and to pests and diseases that cause major losses to farmers and industry across the world. A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Institute of Vegetables and Flowers, part of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and the James Hutton Institute, during Potatoes in Practice 2019.
8/9/2019

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Australian potato growers push Simplot for price increase

Last month, Tasmanian potato growers in Australia unanimously rejected Simplot’s price offer. They are still working to negotiate a new contract. The company was offering a price increase of 2 cents a kilogram, or $20 a tonne for the upcoming season. But grower Matt Ryan said Simplot was the processor stuck in the middle between the growers, consumers and retailers.
8/8/2019

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Harper Adams University to host international Symposium of Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) Management

Harper Adams University is due to host its fifth Symposium of Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) Management in September with speakers and attendees from across the globe. The event, which is held every five years, will be chaired by Dr Matthew Back, Reader in Nematology, and brings together experts and academics to share work relating to the biology, distribution and management of potato cyst nematodes (PCN).
8/8/2019

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Can the potato processing industry raise the bar for sustainable food?

In this article, written by Steven Tsirakos, Senior Analyst at Annual Insight in the Netherlands, the author points out that Lamb Weston / Meijer and McDonald’s announced their joint efforts to reduce food waste last month. Sustainability is apparent within all food chains, Tsirakos writes, and cross value chain collaboration is a widely shared initiative.
8/6/2019

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