Idaho potato crop returns to average volumes

Idaho has bounced back to a more normal potato crop this season from its bumper crop last year. Last season, Idaho had more potatoes available for the fresh market than any other year in its history, said Ryan Wahlen, sales manager for Pleasant Valley Potato Inc., Aberdeen, Idaho. The United Potato Growers of Idaho reported that planted acreage statewide is down nearly 15,000 acres, from 322,629 in 2016 to 307,776 in 2017. Total fresh potato production in Idaho last season was 38.2 million cwt., according to the group. This season, it’s estimating production between 31 million and 32.5 million cwt. — a potential decrease of nearly 19%. “We expect that, as harvest finishes, shippers will realize how much lower yields were this season compared to last season and will adjust their pricing to reflect their reduced inventory,” Wahlen said. “The 15,000-acre decrease in potato acreage coupled with the lower yields we’ve experienced should translate to better grower returns this year.” More

Robinson Fresh and Albert Bartlett bring British potatoes to North America

Robinson Fresh and Albert Bartlett bring premium potatoes to North America. (Photo: Albert Bartlett)Robinson Fresh®, a division of C.H. Robinson, is now the exclusive provider of Albert Bartlett potatoes in North America. Albert Bartlett is a leader in the fresh and frozen potato market for the United Kingdom, and is increasing its presence in North America with headquarters in Denver and growers throughout the continent. “When we heard Albert Bartlett was looking for opportunities to further expand into the North American market, we knew we wanted to get involved,” said Michael Castagnetto, vice president of global sourcing at Robinson Fresh. “Albert Bartlett plays in a unique space in the food industry that we see as the forefront of consumer trends — the company prioritizes flavor to drive the category and provides a premium option to offer a meaningful culinary experience. As Michelin-star chefs and home cooks alike are utilizing this product, we believe this is the future direction of the produce industry.” More

US: RPE to feature new product innovations at Fresh Summit

What’s new in the fresh potato category? From RPE, Inc. a new potato item, a unique approach for commodity product and fresh innovations that add value for both consumers and retailers alike. New featured item: SteamPak Mini™, for the health conscious and on-the-go consumer, is a single-serve package of fresh potatoes. Microwaving in four minutes for a great snack or side dish, SteamPak Mini has no additives and addresses a trend toward smaller pack sizes and a desire from consumers to reduce food waste. Unique approach for commodity product: Old Oak Farms® Party Potatoes, offered exclusively by RPE, are fingerling potatoes re-imagined with precise size specifications. RPE will also highlight Tasteful Selections Steam & Savor™ steamable bags featuring Organic Mini Sweet Potatoes, and White Russet® brand potatoes. More

Low carb potato variety wins New Zealand Food Award

Image result for LotatoesT&G’s Lotatoes has won The Ministry for Primary Industries Primary Sector Products Award at the 2017 New Zealand Food Awards. The category promotes, recognizes and showcases innovations in primary sector products, processing and packaging methods. Lotatoes came out on top with the judges being particularly impressed with the process used to naturally breed and sustainably grow the lower carbohydrate and fewer calorie potato that’s taken New Zealand by storm. “Lotatoes is a high-quality and delicious potato, sustainably grown right here in New Zealand by passionate farmers loved by kiwi consumers. We’re extremely proud of Lotatoes win at the 2017 New Zealand Food Awards,” says Andrew Keaney, executive general manager, T&G who accepted the top award. This potato, with 40% less carbs and fewer calories than other potato varieties, was developed by cross-breeding different varieties of potato seeds together. More

Uganda: GMO potatoes expected to reach store shelves in 2020

Scientists say the first batch of locally grown genetically modified potatoes will be on sale in Ugandan retail markets in 2020. Dr Alex Barekye, the director of Kachwekano Zonal Agriculture Research Institute in the western district of Rubanda, said agricultural biotechnology research on potatoes is underway to create a genetically modified variety that will be resistant to diseases. Barekye said three trials have been conducted on the Victoria potato variety and so far, tests did not find any disease, yet the yield is high. “When we look at all the products in the GMO line and look at the duration of the crop, I think potatoes will be the first GMO crop to be commercially available in Uganda. We have conducted three trials and found that the disease is not there. The yield is good and there is nothing that has changed,” Dr. Barekye told The Observer in an interview during the World Food day celebrations in Rubanda on October 16. More

Report: 5 Key insights on the frozen potato market through 2022

global-frozen-potato-market.jpgAccording to a new study by Fact.MR,  global frozen potato market for frozen potato is estimated to bring in US$ 60,109.5 million revenue by 2022 end. The market is projected to register moderate growth of 4.0% CAGR during the forecast period 2017-2022. The growing business of quick service restaurants and increase in disposable income of consumers are some of the key factors fuelling the growth of the frozen potato market globally. Manufacturers are focusing on using advanced technology for refrigeration at the right temperature, thereby preserving frozen potato for a longer period of time. Some insights discussed in the report show how the global frozen potato market will perform in the next five years. Europe is expected to dominate the global frozen potato market, and North America is expected to emerge as the second most lucrative market. By the end of 2022, modern trade is projected to exceed US$ 25,100 million revenue. More

US: Red River Valley potatoes having good year

Potato growers in the northern plains region, which includes the Red River Valley on the border of North Dakota and Minnesota, are enjoying healthy harvest yields, good quality and high demand. Red, and more so yellow varieties, have seen increases in market share in recent years. Ted Kreis, of Red River Valley Potatoes, said that the harvest has almost concluded for the year and yields have been above average for most potato varieties. “We grow all the main types of potatoes in the Valley for four fresh markets – fresh, seed, frozen processing and chips,” he noted. “The red and yellow varieties, in particular, have enjoyed above average yields, thanks to favorable growing conditions.” Consumers are turning more towards different colored potatoes, and the red and European yellow varieties are enjoying a surge in popularity. And despite the large volumes, demand is strong enough to absorb that stock. More

UK: Chip producer Burt’s ups capacity in Devon to cope with demand

Image result for burts chips logoBurt’s Chips has installed a high-speed potato frying line at its Devon facility to cope with growing demand. A company spokesperson told BakeryandSnacks the $3.9m investment in equipment and staff will help meet the growing demand from across the UK, as well as in the US, Canada and EMEA. The new equipment has increased production capacity for Burt’s hand-cooked chips from 160 tons to 200 tons, while volumes of the Better For You range will jump to 23 tons.The British-owned company also employed another 12 staff to help operate the new fryer and cope with the additional volumes, bringing the factory’s total headcount to 168. The latest investment is part of the company’s five-year $15.9m program to increase production capacity and drive efficiencies at the Plymouth site. This has enabled us to realise significant year-on-year growth across all areas of our UK and export business, taking the company from $15.1m in 2013 to $32.5m in 2016, said David Nairn, Burt’s MD. More

US: Lamb Weston unveils new $200 million potato processing line

Whether waffle-fried or straight-cut, call Richland a french fry capital. This morning, Lamb Weston unveiled its new $200 million expanded processing line for frozen potato products. The line will double the Richland plant’s capacity to 2 million pounds a day of frozen fries. The 290,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art expansion will added another 150 jobs to the Tri-City economy. Lamb Weston has produced frozen fry products in Richland since 1972. With the new line, the plant now has the combined capacity to produce an estimated 600 million pounds of frozen potato products annually. .It sources most of the potatoes it processes from within 60 miles, making it the region’s largest buyer of locally-grown. The company has said the rising global demand for fries and frozen potato products drove the expansion. More

‘Chipocalypse’ in New Zealand as wild weather spikes price of potatoes

ChipsThe “chipocalypse” has reached New Zealand, after heavy rain caused a shortage of potato crops and a spike in prices. Supermarkets have been forced to place signs in their chip shelves, explaining to hungry customers why the beloved snack is out of sto“It started raining in March, and it just simply hasn’t stopped,” Chris Claridge, head of trade association Potatoes New Zealand, told Radio Live NZ. “Potatoes are actually alive — they need to breathe. And so, effectively, they drown and then they start to rot… because they’re submerged in water.” Two major floods have wiped out around one fifth of crops, with some regions seeing 30 percent of crops destroyed. Around 75,000 tonnes of potatoes are made into chips every year, which means these shortages will will havea detrimental effect on the snack. This shortage of potatoes has filtered down to food prices. In New Zealand, wIn New Zealand, where a kilogram of potatoes cost $1.28 last August, it’s now shot up to $1.67 this year. Potato chips are even scarce on shelves. Potato chips are even scarce on shelves. More

Pleasing British potato crop despite rain delays to lifting season

Despite a stop-start lifting season as a result of regular rain showers, harvested crops in Britain have yielded well and there are few quality issues being reported. An improvement in weather in the eastern counties has allowed growers to progress well with potato lifting, with around 70 per cent of crops harvested. While skin set has been a challenge, yields in the South East have been the best they have been for the past two years, according to Norfolk agronomist and grower Andy Alexander. He says: “Skin set has been slow. We had a reasonably good growing season, so crops have kept growing and have not come under stress to force them to shut down. We have had to desiccate quite green crops this year, hence we are getting bigger yields, but we cannot have it both ways.” Mr Alexander believes there may be some storage losses, bringing the overall saleable yield down. More

U.S. exports more frozen, dehydrated and fresh potatoes

Exports of frozen, dehydrated and fresh potatoes in July 2017 all showed gains compared to July 2016, according to Potatoes USA. The volume of frozen exports was up 1%, with the value up 3% to USD94m. The volume of exports of dehydrated potatoes was up 12% and the value up 12% to USD17m. Fresh potato export volume was up 51% with the value up 41% to USD33m. Exports of frozen potato products to Mexico and Japan continued their recent recovery and were up 11% and 10% respectively. Korea up 10%, Malaysia up 10% the Philippines up 13% all continued the strong growth from last marketing year. Fresh exports (both table-stock and chip-stock) had a lot of positive growth in July 2017 compared to 2016, with the largest fresh export market, Canada up 49%. More

New Zealanders could soon be eating crisps and chips made from GE potatoes

New Zealanders could soon be eating crisps and hot chips made from GE potatoes, with little idea of the added health risks from genetic engineering. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), which has just approved six new lines of GE potatoes for human consumption, has breached its duty of care to consumers, says the Soil & Health Association. Last week the Trans-Tasman food regulator released its decision approving the sale of food derived from potatoes that have been genetically engineered for disease resistance to foliar late blight, reduced blackspot bruising and reduced acrylamide potential. The potatoes are aimed at fast food outlets and the frozen chip and crisps market. “FSANZ has a legal requirement to protect the health and safety of people in Australia and New Zealand through the maintenance of a safe food supply,” says Soil & Health chair Graham Clark. “By approving these potato lines without sufficient evidence to prove that they are safe to eat, FSANZ has effectively breached this legal requirement.” More

Indian dairy co-operative enters french fry market

New french fry manufacturer in India Amul sets up shop near competition in GujaratIn India, the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) is starting the production of frozen French Fries in October of this year. They have set up shop in North Gujarat, close to McCain Foods India and Hyfun Frozen Foods. Their entry into the market could be favorable for potato farmers because the co-operative dairy giant is now planning to directly procure potatoes from farmers, just as they do for their 3.6 million dairy farmers that jointly own the cooperative. GCMMF is launching frozen french fries, potato wedges, hash browns and burger patty (aloo tikki) products under their Amul / Taste of India brand. McCain Foods India, the subsidiary of the Canadian multinational currently procures its potatoes mainly from North Gujarat, which may cause some competition for potatoes for processing. More

First potato trading pool in Belgium opened

Based on this year’s harvest, the potato pool of RTL Patat has started, the first potato company to do so in Belgium. This season also shows that there’s a need for this way of trading. The sector is plagued by severe drought, but Remy Tanghe of RTL Patat expects the main harvest to be good. Late last year, potato company RTL Patat announced they were starting a potato pool. A potato pool is quite common in the Netherlands, but the company from West-Flanders is the first to start this in Belgium. “Normally, a grower wants to sell their product at as high a price as possible, and a buyer wants to buy it is cheaply as possibly. With the pool we want to look after the interests of our growers. It’s a different way of trading. The growers who have joined us are rewarded with a percentage of the payout price, with which we guarantee them we’ll do everything to achieve the highest possible price,” says Remy Tanghe. More