A fall in the popularity of potatoes among health-conscious consumers contributed to a 75% slump in pre-tax profits at Wilson’s Country. Results for the year ending July 25, 2015 revealed the potato giant’s turnover fell by around £2m due to “challenging market conditions” for pre-packed and peeled potatoes. Wilson’s, which is based in Craigavon, said the fall in turnover “mirrored the market”, citing research by Kantar recording a 14.7% fall in the value of the fresh potato market. And the company, which processes potatoes from 25 farmers and has 84 staff, also battled with falling prices from supermarket customers as price competition intensified among the multiples. Pre-tax profit at the firm, which supplies supermarkets such as Tesco, Dunnes and Supervalu, fell from just over £1m to £246,000 – a drop of just over 75% over a year.
The mighty spud attended the RUAS Balmoral Show 2016 to celebrate the first anniversary of the Northern Ireland Potato Promotion Campaign. One year ago the organisers of the Potato Promotions campaign set out their aims and objectives asking the industry for their support with funding to: Inspire existing potato consumers to buy more potatoes; attract new potato consumers, especially in the younger age bracket; emmphasise the qualit of locally grown potatoes. The Northern Ireland Potato Industry responded positively and contributed about £17k from growers and packers plus a further £8.6k from DARD/Invest NI through the NI Regional Food Programme was secured.
The two big stories out of California’s Kern County potato deal this year are that there is a fairly good market and there are no russet potatoes. The russet deal, which was the core of the California fresh potato industry for decades, has been in decline for 20 years and finally it is no more. A survey of the acreage revealed no russet acreage this year. For the past three years it has been below 1,000 acres, which is a far cry from its relatively recent peak of 8,600 acres in 1996. Instead, growers have focused on red, gold and white potatoes with the gold variety showing the most gain in recent years. This season, the golds are up about 20 percent with an additional 300 acres, bringing that item’s acreage above the 1,800-acre level. Reds still lead the way with more than 2,000 acres, followed by the white rose potato at about 1,100 acres.
UFCW Canada members at Covered Bridge Potato Chips have won a first contract, ending their five-month strike and a national campaign calling for a boycott of the company's products. On Tuesday, UFCW Canada Local 1288P members ratified their first collective agreement, in the wake of a two-year struggle for a fair first contract at the Wakefield, New Brunswick snack food processor. The contract comes just days after UFCW Canada activists and Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) affiliates carried out a National Day of Action, leafleting consumers outside of major food retailers across the country with a call to boycott Covered Bridge Potato Chips. That action was in addition to a comprehensive UFCW Canada social media, web, and advertising campaign which ran throughout the strike that alerted consumers, labour allies, and activists about the campaign for fairness at Covered Bridge.
The latest data published by Eurostat, corresponding to the year 2014, show that potato farms across the European Union take up a total of 1.6 million hectares of land, which provide an income for 1.9 million producers. The total value of the production is estimated at almost 10 billion Euro per year. A glance at the Potato statistics shows that Poland is still a powerhouse in this market segment. The country ranks first in terms of acreage and third in terms of production volume. However, retail prices of Polish potatoes are the lowest in the EU. The Polish potato production is still very fragmented. Polish farms devote an average of 0.7 hectares to potatoes, with the EU average standing at 0.8 hectares.
A California man has filed a lawsuit against Utz Quality Foods Inc. for allegedly falsely advertising that its Dirty Potato Chips brand was “all natural” and preservative-free. Cyprus Hashtpari claimed in the suit, filed May 18, that the Dirty Potato Chips products contain “non-natural, artificial, synthetic ingredients and preservatives,” despite conflicting advertising on the chips’ bags. The offending flavors named in the suit are mesquite bbq, jalapeno heat, sour cream and onion, sea salt and vinegar, funky fusion, cracked pepper and sea salt, pesto and parmesan and smoky chipotle.
Although the South African potato processing industry is growing rapidly to meet increasingly strong demand fuelled by the brisk growth in food services and the convenience market, JSE-listed Famous Brands says it lagged its peer industries in developed countries, illustrating the growth potential for the company’s newly acquired Lamberts Bay Foods (LBF) business. Famous Brands announced on Thursday that it had acquired LBF, a wholly-owned subsidiary of JSE-listed Oceana Group. LBF currently processes French fries and other value-added potato products solely for the South African market at its factory in Lambert’s Bay, in the Western Cape, for sale to wholesalers, retailers and restaurant chains. The company, one of only three French fries manufacturers in South Africa, had supplied product to Famous Brands for the past 20 years. Currently, LBF processed some 24 000 t/y of potatoes, which were sourced mainly from Mpumalanga, Limpopo, the Free State and the Sandveld region of the Western Cape.
Researchers at Colorado State University have recently developed purple potato varieties which can satisfy nutritional needs and could potentially act as a preventive measure to several diseases. The research team works with the CSU Potato Program and is composed of David G. Holm, a professor and potato breeder; Sastry S. Jayanty, a post-harvest physiologist; and Diganta Kalita, a postdoctoral researcher at CSU’s San Luis Valley Research Center. According to the research team, “There are different colored potatoes such as red, purple, yellow and white with distinctive skin and flesh color. Among them, purple and red potatoes are high in antioxidants.”
McDonald’s in Australia is channelling iconic Sitcom’s Friends and Seinfeld to celebrate its new gravy loaded fries. In the ad, a Gravy loaded fry interviews other fries to be his new housemate, but it proves to be harder than the small fry thought. He says: “Good gravy, are there no sane fries left in this city?” The fast food chain released several other short clips for the launch of its gravy-topped fries. In one ad, the fries channel popular series Game of Thrones, saying “Winter is coming”. In another, the fries play Marco Polo. Previously AdNews spoke to DDB Sydney about how the ads pushed the boundaries.
May 30 is right around the corner and that means it’s almost time for Peruvians to start celebrating the potato. This years National Potato Day celebration will serve to publicize the achievements of scientific knowledge of the potato over the last few decades. As part of the celebration the International Potato Center (CIP) will present their research on the past, present, and future of science related to the Peruvian potato. The presentation on National Potato Day follows a series of scientific conferences taking place today, May 24, at CIP’s auditorium in the Molina District. The Minister of Agriculture, Juan Manuel Benites, and the General Director of CIP, Dr. Barbara Wells, will initiate the conference.
Whether you’re using them to make a duck bill or snacking on them at a party, Pringles are a nearly 50-year-old staple of American snack food. But the way they get their shape – and crisp – is a mesmerizing process and a new video show the whole method from start to finish. The video begins by showing the ingredients that make up the potato chips – a ratio of one-third water to two-thirds potato flakes. Corn starch is mixed in to give the batter its firmness while being fried. The chips start their life being flattened on one of many conveyor belts then are cut, pressed and molded. The molding allows for the chips to get there famous concave shape before they are fried for 11 seconds. A worker then checks the chips before another belt shakes them apart, followed by weighing and packaging.
The second year of the highly-rated AHDB Potatoes ‘Next Generation’ initiative launched last Friday 20 May at AHDB Headquarters in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. Successful applicants completed a highly competitive video application process to become one of the final 13 delegates, competing with the most talented and passionate individuals from across the Great British potato supply chain. Norfolk-based Alistair Neill, leaving a background in the printing business three years ago and now Trainee Agronomist for Produce Solutions (part of the Greenvale AP group), said: "I applied for two years running and am delighted to be one of seven ambitious repeat applicants to finally land a place on the programme this year. "I was attracted to the potato industry because it’s fast-paced and ever-changing. "I’m looking forward to widening my general understanding of this industry, appreciating its challenges and gaining valuable contacts I can call upon in the future."
Potatoes look set to retain their major crop status in Tasmania, as farmers accept a new deal from the biggest processor. Frozen French fry maker Simplot has agreed to pay its Tasmanian potato suppliers 5 per cent more, phased in over the next three years. The new contract was negotiated by a growers’ collective bargaining group, headed by Scottsdale farmer Trevor Hall. “There are a few points to it, it’s a three-year contract,” Mr Hall said. “Simplot have offered a supplementary payment for the harvest we’re currently doing, due to adverse conditions, and that’ll be $320 a hectare. “Then we’ll start a three-year contract for the next planting in spring, which will see a price increase of $7.50 a tonne, then a year after that $5, and the year after that a price increase of $2.50 a tonne.”
De flinke uitbreiding van het fritesaardappelareaal in België komt duidelijk terug in de Nederlandse exportcijfers van pootgoed. Nooit eerder exporteerde ons land zoveel pootaardappelen naar de zuiderburen, zo blijkt uit de laatste cijfers van de Nederlandse Aardappel Organisatie (NAO). Exact 78.926 ton aan pootaardappelen kochten de Belgen afgelopen maanden van Nederland. Het grootste volume ooit. Niet helemaal verrassend, want tweede week mei werd bekend dat het aardappelareaal in Vlaanderen in 2016 tot wel 15 procent kan stijgen. Vergeleken met vorig jaar om zelfde tijd (t/m 30 april) is dat een verhoging van ruim 14.700 ton. Niet alleen met de Belgen, ook met de Duitsers deed Nederland goede zaken wat betreft de pootgoedverkoop. Bijna 83.000 ton ging er tot 30 april naar Duitsland. Dat is bijna 11.000 ton meer dan vorig jaar in dezelfde periode.
Scotland is set to host a number of key information events aimed at the potato sector. AHDB Potatoes knowledge transfer manager in Scotland, Claire Hodge, explained: “Now that the majority of growers are finished planting, we are keen to draw their attention to these three key events, in July, August and November. “We are extremely excited about the Strategic Potato (or ‘SPot’) Farm project which takes AHDB funded research to the next level, applying proven beneficial results to a real, commercial farm. Bruce Farms, our SPot Scotland hosts, are all set to give the project an advance ‘soft-launch’ this summer, with an open day on July 12. A month later, on August 11, AHDB Potatoes will once again partner with the James Hutton Institute at Balruddery, Dundee for the largest field-based potato event in the UK, Potatoes in Practice. The biennial seed industry event will then take place on November 3.
A pair of potato farmers from Cornwall are branching out from traditional farming and making gin and vodka from their harvest. Colwith Farm is one of the biggest potato producers in the South West and has been in the Dustow family for five generations. But with each year’s harvest so dependant on the weather Steve and Chris decided to diversify from the humble potato to a premium spirit. They teamed up with a biochemist to start producing vodka and gin – taking a huge risk. Says Chris Dustow: “I made a big break with the farm and decided we were going to push on with it so I heavily reinvested. Because we specialise in potatoes we had to be careful that we didn’t just have particular market, so when Steve discussed the opportunity it was another market we had a guaranteed sale for.”
Canadian potato growers found a new insect foe in the 2015 season — European corn borer. Ordinarily the pest prefers maize and other grain crops, but when conditions are right it will move on and hit other crops hard, including potatoes. Ian MacRae, an extension entomologist at Minnesota’s Northwest Research and Outreach Center, told Manitoba Potato Production Days this January the effects aren’t pretty. “When it hits potatoes it’s devastating — the young burrow into the stem in the potato, near a leaf axil, eating out the pith and vascular tissue, causing wilting or weakening the stem, lodging the plant so the leaf and stem fall down,” said MacRae. “And their entry points serve as sites for secondary infection.”
Three research groups have recently reported on advances with crop diseases resistance. These related to detecting novel disease resistance genes and the successful transfer of resistance into wheat, soybean, and potato. The work, in each case, was supported by the 2Blades Foundation. The organization has a remit to discover, advance and deliver genetic improvements in crop disease resistance. The work is of importance due to the growing rise in the spread of plant pathogens. Plant pathogens cause global crop losses estimated at around 15 percent, extending, in some cases, to total crop failure. Pathogens can be battled through the use of agrochemicals and with developing resistant crop varieties. However, many types of pathogens can adapt and resists these measures. One way forwards, is through genetics in order to create durable genetic resistances. This is the basis of the newly reported successes.
AN investigation into Australia’s second largest employer — McDonald’s — has found the fast food giant cut a deal that left staff seriously out of pocket. The deal between Macca’s and the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA), signed in 2013, affects young workers who earn as little as $10.08 an hour. Collectively, Australian staff are worse off by $50 million a year. The findings of a Fairfax Media investigation were based on pay slips and store rosters. The SDA has more than 28,000 members and claims it has “looked after the rights of retail workers for more than 120 years”.
Pakistan imports 10,000 to 15,000 tonnes of high quality certified seed to grow potato crop is imported from Holland, annually, Minister for National Health Service, Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar informed the Upper House on Thursday. Speaking on behalf of minister for food security, she said the seed potato was further multiplied by the national seed companies and then distributed to the farmers. Currently, she added the volume of certified seed potato was low and added reasons for non-availability of sufficient certified seed potato in the country included that potato varieties imported from Holland were popular among farmers.
Egal ob Gehölze, Zier- oder Nutzpflanzen, ohne die Zulassung durch dasBundessortenamt dürfen die Gewächse und ihre Saaten nicht gehandelt werden. Wie die Arbeit der Einrichtung des Bundesministeriums für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung funktioniert, lässt sich in der Außenstelle bei Magdeburg beobachten. Dort werden Kartoffelsorten klassifiziert und beurteilt. Damit eine Kartoffelsorte eine amtliche Zulassung erhalten kann, muss sie durch die sogenannte Registerprüfung. Jede noch so kleine Auffälligkeit wird hier vermerkt. Dazu gehören Wuchshöhen und Struktur der Pflanzen, die Behaarung, Größe und Form des Lichtkeims sowie die Form, Größe und Beschaffenheit der Knolle.
A new study linking potatoes and increased risk of high blood pressure is being viewed with caution by the P.E.I. potato board and a local nutritional scientist. The study, published by the BMJ (formerly known as the British Medical Journal), said people who eat four or more servings of baked, boiled or mashed potatoes a week had an 11 per cent higher risk of developing hypertension. That was compared to people who ate one serving or less a month. Researchers based at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School followed more than 187,000 American men and women for more than 20 years. Participants returned a questionnaire with updates on their health every two years, and another about their eating habits, including potato consumption, every four years.
The Idaho Potato Commission awarded a record amount of cash and prizes for its 25th annual retail display contest. The Eagle-based organization doubled the number of award levels and awarded more than $200,000 to winning entries from more than 5,000 retail stores, according to a news release. A Raleys store in Reno, Nev., won first place in the stores with 10 or more registers category. The store drove customers to the produce aisle with two tractors flanking the display of a super-sized Idaho russet potato perched on the back of a red truck.
SouthWind Farms, based in Heyburn, is exporting fresh potatoes to the Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Canada and Malaysia. According to partner Jerry Tominaga, they grow around 700 acres commercially. What it exports: SouthWind grows fingerlings and round “marbles,” or baby potatoes. The specialty potatoes come in yellow, red, purple and white. “We are a grower, packer and shipper,” Tominaga said. Potato planting begins around April 1 and harvest around Aug. 1. The potatoes are typically 2 to 4 1/2 inches long, but SouthWind also sells “minis” that are 1 3/4 inches or smaller. “We have been shipping indirectly or directly to supermarkets and exporters,” Tominaga said. Shipments from the farm take three to four weeks to reach their destinations.
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