The potato sector could be viewed as one of the purest supply and demand driven markets for UK farmers. The industry’s cyclical price trends often follow the sentiment of a large domestic crop leading to surplus supplies and subsequently price pressure. But a long-term trend of falling fresh potato consumption is causing the industry’s gears to change and the UK supply chain has questions to answer about its future. Rob Clayton, director of AHDB Potatoes, claimed the potato sector was much more domestically focused than many others. “I think it [volatility] has always been there. In a sense we are an island and we are somewhat protected,” he said.
Irish all grew up eating Tayto. My grandmother wouldn’t ever have said “a packet of crisps”; it was always a “pack of Tayto,” no matter what brand it actually was. The brand is as well known in Ireland as Guinness. Despite German ownership, Tayto is so fundamentally Irish that a branded theme park was opened in 2010, near the company’s factory in Ashbourne, County Meath, about 30 minutes from Dublin. Mr. Tayto is everywhere in the park, wearing his trademark dapper suit and hat. When you enter and leave, you get a packet of Tayto crisps. Which makes it easy for families to carry on a uniquely Irish activity: making crisp sandwiches, the white-bread, butter and crisps concoction that are the quintessential Irish snack.
During a celebration of Agricultural Research Day on July 15, Alberto Maurer, the Head of Peru’s National Institute for Agricultural Innovation (INIA), accompanied by CIP Director General Barbara Wells and representatives of various other national and international institutions, announced that Peru will host the 10th World Potato Congress in 2018. The triennial event is organized by the non-profit World Potato Congress (WPC) Inc., which is dedicated to supporting the global growth and development of the potato.
Few people in Australia know which variety of potato they are putting on their plate, new research reveals. The Potato Tracker project found that potatoes were the most popular item on consumers’ fruit and vegetable list, ahead of tomatoes, carrots cucumbers and lettuce. Despite this, there was a knowledge gap in people’s understanding of the food. AUSVEG spokesman Alexander Miller said growers and sellers needed to do more to help consumers tell their kennebecs from their kipflers. “We found that 32 per cent of Australians when unprompted were unable to name a variety of potato and that 15 per cent of Australians when purchasing potatoes didn’t know what they were buying,” he said.
Potato growers are successfully dealing with the pest that’s been their biggest headche in recent years, an industry group says. The tomato-potato psyllid, discovered in New Zealand in 2006, spreads a bacterium that stunts the growth of potato plants and causes a disease known as zebra chip in the tubers. It also damages tomato and related crops. Potatoes New Zealand chief executive Champak Mehta said the industry had the psyllid well under control thanks to the knowledge gained through research.
Salad potato production is a potential growth area within the Irish tillage sector, according to Teagasc agronomist John Pettit. Potato consumption is on the decline at the present time, he said, but there is strong evidence to confirm a growing consumer demand for salad potatoes. “Obviously, Teagasc is keen to highlight their potential as an alternative crop option. But they may not be for every grower.” Pettit confirmed that salad potatoes cannot be grown on heavy ground.
Beijing will host an international conference in late July to promote cooperation in the potato industry. The 2015 Beijing World Potato Congress will see global technical and marketing experts converge in Yanqing County to discuss potato seeding, consumption and marketing during a three-day event starting on July 28. An international potato research center will be unveiled during the congress to help Asia-Pacific countries develop potato productivity, said Chen He’an, head of the congress organizing office. A total of 855 delegates from 37 countries have applied to participate, he said. Organized by the World Potato Congress, the triennial event has been held eight times in a variety of countries. China is boosting potato acreage to make the crop the country’s fourth staple food after rice, wheat and corn, as the government tries to stave off a potential food crisis by persuading people of the merits of potatoes. Source: Xinhua




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