Lamb Weston reports increased sales, earnings in first fiscal year since spinning off from ConAgra

Lamb Weston logoThe Lamb Weston frozen potato business closed out its first fiscal year as an independent business saying it exceeded its financial goals. The results were a “strong foundation for sustainable growth as an independent company,” said Tom Werner, the company’s president and chief executive officer. In a November 2016 spinoff deal, shareholders of the former ConAgra Foods received shares of both Lamb Weston and the new Conagra Brands. Conagra shed the frozen potato business to concentrate on branded grocery foods sold at retail stores. Lamb Weston, now headquartered in Idaho, on Tuesday reported a 6 percent increase in sales for the 2017 fiscal year ending May 28, to $3.2 billion, and net income for the year of $326.9 million. Lamb Weston added new potato processing lines in manufacturing plants in the U.S. and internationally, and has more in the works. Lamb Weston also launched a new product in retail stores: the Made in Idaho brand of frozen potato products including fries and hash browns. More

Australia: Agronico opens new purpose-built coolstore for seed potato storage in Tasmania

Image result for Agronico opens new purpose-built coolstore at SpreytonThe new coolstore at Spreyton can store up to 8000 tonnes of seed potatoes and has the potential to service Australia’s seed potato needs, Agronico believes. Agronico chief executive Robert Graham said the purpose-built facility will benefit Tasmanian potato farmers because it will improve the viability of their produce. “We believe there’s a big opportunity for seed potatoes in Tasmania. We think farmers should capitalise on that,” Mr Graham said. “We should produce seed potatoes for all of Australia because we can produce such good quality seed. High quality seed is vital for high yield and, therefore, valuable for our farmers,” he said. The new coolstore means potatoes can be transported direct from Tasmanian paddocks for grading and then to the facility for storage in optimum conditions. More

Aldi makes Welsh potato commitment

Aldi makes Welsh potato commitmentAldi has committed to selling Welsh potatoes across all its stores in Wales following investment in its new distribution centre in Cardiff. The discounter, which sponsors Britain’s Team GB, said its £60 million depot has already helped it supply Welsh lamb to local store, and it can now expand this commitment into potatoes. Aldi co-managing director of corporate buying, Tony Baines, said: “The move to stock Welsh potatoes in Welsh stores is a natural one following the investment in our Cardiff distribution centre. “Supporting Welsh excellence in farming, first with Lamb and now with potatoes, benefits local suppliers and local business as well as local customers who can enjoy fresh produce at unbeatable prices.”  Continue reading

The power of creativity: A special beer, vodka and chips from the same potato source…

“Yes, it got slightly out of hand,” laughs Victor van Veelen. Seven years ago the brothers Joost and Sebastiaan Hoes opened a trial store under the name FrietHoes in the Netherlands. It was the start of their own FrietFabriek (ChipFactory) in which Victor van Veelen also participated. Their new production line has a capacity of over 2 million kg of fresh chips on an annual basis and a semi-automatic factory for the production of precooked chips. FrietHoes is one of the largest buyers of organic chip potatoes in the Netherlands. FrietHoes has set itself the goal of making the production line completely zero waste next year. In order to add value to the cutting waste, they got creative: “We decided to make vodka from them. Our peel beer soon followed: a special craft beer that is great on a square. As an entrepreneur it’s an added advantage to be able to serve fresh chips and tell your customer that the drink comes from the very same potato and chip producer. Customers like this and it creates an experience,” Victor concludes. More

Pests and diseases: Comprehensive online database now updated with latest information

A comprehensive online database, developed by a number of scientific and industry bodies in France was recently updated and published on the Ephytia web site for potatoes. Published in several European languages, this database on potato diseases, pests and disorders was developed by FN3PT (French National Federation of Seed Potato Growers), GNIS (French Association for Seeds and Seed Potatoes), ARVALIS-Institut du Végétal (French Technical Institute for Cereals, Forage and Potato Crops) and INRA (French  Institute for Agricultural Research), with the support of the Joint Technological Unit UMT INNOPLANT. One of the sections of the database includes a comprehensive list of potato diseases, pests and disorders – broken down in two broad categories, namely by Latin name and by common name of most diseases, pests and disorders of potatoes. The database further includes a section devoted to the identification of pests and diseases. The database is throughout accompanied by applicable photos, and an obviously unique source of valuable information for agronomists, researchers and farmers alike. More

Agronomy: AHDB in the UK released latest edition of Crop Nutrient Management Guide

Image result for potato nutrient imageAccording to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) in the UK, optimising crop yield and quality whilst managing finances and considering the environment is the scenario facing producers, and it emphasises the need for careful nutrient management and planning. Increasing understanding around fertiliser use and uptake by plants is a continuing area of work. As is the exploration of potential savings and looking at how to make best use of new technology and nutrient sources. AHDB’s latest edition of the Nutrient Management Guide (RB209) provides guidelines for crop nutrient requirements and the nutrient content of organic materials. It is published as seven sections, namely: Principles of nutrient management and fertiliser use; Organic materials; Grass and forage crops; Arable crops; Potatoes;  Vegetables and bulbs; Fruit, vines and hops. The guide can be found on the web site of AHDB Potatoes, or you can find out more, including downloadable PDFs and video content, on the main AHDB website

Canada: Cavendish Farms getting major storage upgrades

Cavendish farms potatoesPrince Edward Island’s major potato processor is in the middle of some major upgrades at its New Annan, P.E.I. facility. Cavendish Farms is constructing two new buildings to store its potatoes. According to Jubs Bristow, the vice-president of agriculture with Cavendish Farms, the new buildings will be able to hold 48 million pounds of potatoes. “I think this helps ensure the plants get better quality potatoes, especially through those long storage months of July, August, and September, and so this will help the french fry plants produce better quality potatoes,” Bristow said.  Continue reading

La production de pommes de terre belges a “plus que triplé en moins de 40 ans”

L'irrésistible ascension d'un tubercule qui a la friteLa superficie consacrée à la culture de la pomme de terre et la production de ce tubercule n’ont cessé de croître ces dernières années en Belgique au point de faire de la pomme de terre, en valeur, “la production végétale la plus importante après les légumes“, révèlent des statistiques du SPF Economie publiées à quelques jours de la 83e Foire agricole de Libramont. En 2016, la superficie des cultures de pommes de terre a ainsi atteint un record de 89 163 hectares, en forte hausse de 13,38% par rapport à 2015. Surtout, par rapport à l’an 2000, l’augmentation de la superficie cultivée atteint plus de 35%. Sur ces 4,4 millions de tonnes, près de 40% sont transformées en frites surgelées. Et 80% de la production belge sont exportés. Rapport

Belgian farmers cultivate ever more potatoes to satisfy the unstoppable demand for Belgian fries

In 2016, the area given over to potato cultivation reached a record 89,163 hectares.The area devoted to growing potatoes and the production of this tuber has not stopped growing in recent years in Belgium. It has made the humble potato, in value terms, “the most important crop after vegetables.” This has been revealed by SPF Economy statistics, published a few days before the 83rd Agricultural Fair at Libramont. In 2016, the area given over to potato cultivation reached a record 89,163 hectares, with a sharp rise of 13.38% compared to 2015. This was particularly marked when likened to 2000, with an increase in the area cultivated of more than 35% since that time. Nearly 40% were processed into frozen chips. Moreover 80% of the production were exported. The potato processing sector, which employed 4,115 workers in 2016, also invested a record €310 million last year. More

Gpi and Kiremko deliver batter line installation for french fry coating

According to a report published online by Potato Business, Gpi and Kiremko worked together on designing and building a complete batter line that can produce liquid batter for the coating french fries. This liquid batter will be applied in a thin layer on the fries before they are baked. This ‘battering’ or ‘coating’ of chips is done to give the fries certain additional properties, such as crispness, the color, the taste or staying warm longer. The batter line will be added to large industrial ovens with a capacity of 10,000-20,000 kg of fries per hour. The batter line consists of:

  • A powder deposit – 20 kg bags are deposited in a cabinet;
  • A powder conveyor system to the powder hoppers;
  • A mixer in which the powder is mixed with water;
  • Two buffer gas tanks where the coating fluid is stored and treated;
  • Various pumps and piping works for the pumping of the fluid;
  • A circulation tank from which the batter liquid is being pumped to the French fries oven through coolers.

Colombia: El robot que siembra papas pastusas

Estudiantes de la Uniagraria crearon un dron que siembra medio bulto del tubérculo por trayecto. Lo que comenzó como una idea para desarrollar un robot que transplantaba árboles, terminó convertido en un dron para sembrar papa pastusa. Estudiantes de ingeniería mecatrónica la universidad Uniagraria, ubicada en la calle 170 con carrera 54A, idearon este revolucionario proyecto en la clase de la profesora Marta Villarreal. “Este proyecto inició cuando estábamos en quinto semestre en la clase de la profesora Marta. Al principio era el transplantador de árboles, pero luego fue cogiendo forma y llegamos al sembrador”, dijo Cristián Malaver, uno de los estudiantes que estuvo en la creación del robot.Gracias al potencial del robot, este se salió de la clase y ahora es un semillero, en el que participan 12 estudiantes de diferentes semestres de la Uniagraria.Además de papa, también pretenden diseñar robots que fumiguen y siembren maíz y cebolla. Link

Kettle launches a new premium chips range in the United Kingdom: ‘Discoveries’

United Kingdom: Kettle launches new Discoveries RangeKETTLE® is pleased to announce the launch of Discoveries, an exciting new sharing range featuring unique flavour combinations, designed to target the growing couples night in occasion. Inspired by food from near & far, and brought to life by our chef, the innovative seasonings are all gluten free and combine authentic food ingredients with hand cooked potato chips. Two of the seasonings, Gressingham Duck®, Plum Sauce & Spring Onion and Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese & Cox Apple Chutney, have made the successful transition from the KETTLE® Chips Chef’s Signature rangewhich is being replaced by Discoveries. According to Phil Hovey, the KETTLE® Chef behind the Discoveries range, “Discoveries is all about our love of food and great taste, taking inspiration from a variety of sources – favourite dishes, restaurants, street markets, and new foods discovered whilst travelling both at home and abroad”. More

Millenials leren aardappel via social media kennen

“De meeste Nederlanders denken bij vroege aardappelen aan de geïmporteerde Malta’s uit de Zuidelijke landen bijvoorbeeld. Ze weten niet dat er ook typisch Nederlandse vroege aardappelen zijn”, vertelt  Arend Zeelenberg, projectleider promotie aardappelen van het NAO. Daarom zette de Power to the Pieper campagne foodie Miljuschka Witzenhausen (24Kitchen) in en plaatste op social media een filmpje met haar favoriete recept en aardappels vers van de veiling. Daarnaast ontwikkelden ze begin deze maand de pieperlijst, 8 eenpansrecepten met aardappelenvoor in de vakantieperiode. Meer

Dutch potato sector accesses Argentinian market

MiniknollenAfter years of negotiations, the Argentinian border was recently opened for Dutch baby potatoes. The export of in-vitro propagated potato plants to the South American country is also now allowed. The Dutch Potato Organisation (NAO) are calling this a breakthrough of great importance for  the Dutch potato sector. The NAO is the branch organisation of potato traders, farmers and processors. Karst Weening of the NAO represented the organisation in the talks with Argentina. “The potato sector in Argentina has a lot of potential”, says Weening. “Dutch export products have an excellent image. We may finally export again, which is good news for exporters.” “The Netherlands played a crucial role in the Argentinian potato sector in the past. This was introducing new varieties and the improvement of existing varieties. This has been at a standstill for too long.” More. Report in Dutch