Family distillery scores with Ireland’s first potato vodka

Stuart and Barbara Hughes are delighted with the response to their RubyBlue vodkaA Co Antrim family-run distillery is to begin selling Ireland’s first potato vodka, it can be revealed. And Lisburn-based Hughes Craft Distillery has landed deals with top online retailers such as Ocado and Amazon, as well as selling their premium product to holidaymakers visiting Ireland at Dublin Airport. The newly released drink, called RubyBlue Vodka, is the first in Ireland to be distilled from potatoes. “We have been seeking to strengthen our range and distribution in Britain, Ireland and further afield for some time and saw a gap in the market for a potato vodka. “We also saw an opportunity from the developing trend, particularly in high-end hotels, cocktail bars and restaurants, for craft spirits with provenance and outstanding taste.” More

McDonald’s to shrink in US, 1st time in decades

This file photo, shows a McDonald's restaurant sign at a McDonald's restaurant in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)The burger chain that put “supersize” into the American vernacular is slimming down: For the first time in more than 40 years, and perhaps ever, McDonald’s says the number of U.S. restaurants it has is shrinking. McDonald’s plans to close more restaurants in the U.S. than it opens this year, according to the world’s biggest hamburger chain. That hasn’t happened since at least 1970, according to an Associated Press review of McDonald’s regulatory filings. Becca Hary, a McDonald’s spokeswoman, declined to provide a specific figure but said the reduction would be “minimal” compared with its total of about 14,300 U.S. locations. More

Kartoffelmarketinggesellschaft nimmt Arbeit auf

Kartoffeln (Bild: Archiv)Jeder Landwirt, der Speisekartoffeln anbaut, kennt die missliche Lage. Die frischen Knollen haben Marktanteile verloren, ein starker internationaler Wettbewerb erschwert die Verkäufe und schließlich gibt es eine starke Konkurrenz durch Pasta oder Reis. Pessimistische Reaktionen wie aufgeben sind nach Mitteilung des Landvolks für Niedersachsen als Deutschlands Kartoffelerzeuger Nr. 1 nicht zufriedenstellend. Mehr

UK: Potato Council now operates as AHDB Potatoes

The Agriculture Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has officially launched its rebranded identity across all of its sub divisions. Under the move, which was formally announced and unveiled by AHDB chair Peter Kendall at this week (w/c 15 June)’s Cereals event in Lincolnshire, trade body Potato Council has become AHDB Potatoes. The One Voice potato promotion campaign is still organised by the marketing team at AHDB Potatoes, with cross-sector support from the NFU, NFUS, Fresh Potato Suppliers’ Association and Potato Processors’ Association, as well as the wider potato industry. More

Belgische aardappelsector slaat weg van duurzaamheid

De Belgische aardappelsector beleefde, of moeten we zeggen – creëerde – een ware ‘frietrevolutie’ gedurende de voorbije 25 jaar. Van een traditionele, op lokale’ productie en consumptie gerichte sector, heeft het zich ontwikkeld tot de wereldleider in export van diepvriesaardappelproducten met in 2014 meer dan 3,8 miljoen ton aardappelen die verwerkt werden tot frites, chips, vlokken, puree producten en granulaten. Meer dan 90 % van de totale Belgische aardappelproducten wordt wereldwijd geëxporteerd, met een stijgend aandeel van derde landen. Ondanks het stijgend areaal aardappelen gepoot in België, zowel in Vlaanderen als in Wallonië, is België geëvolueerd in de grootste invoerder van aardappelen geoogst in Noord-Frankrijk, Nederland en Duitsland. Meer

Canada: Pesticides not leading cause of cancer on Prince Edward Island: professor

Dr. Len Ritter, professor of toxicology, says non-Hodgkin lymphoma rates, the cancer most often associated with pesticides, are lower in Prince Edward Island than anywhere else in Canada. There is no evidence that the safe application of agricultural pesticides causes cancer, says a toxicology professor from Ontario. Dr. Len Ritter, a professor emeritus at the University of Guelph, was in Charlottetown recently to speak to the P.E.I. Potato Board about his research into pesticides. More

UW-Madison’s research programs pack punch

Grower by cranberry bogUW-Madison is the fourth-largest research institution in the United States, according to a recent study released by NorthStar Consulting. The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences – CALS – alone has about $102 million in research funding. It’s difficult to quantify direct and indirect economic benefits because of the many complex connections and partnerships across the university and UW-Extension. But certainly several current research projects are contributing value to agriculture in the state and beyond. More than 20 Wisconsin potato growers are planting varieties developed at UW for the chipping, fresh and specialty markets. UW researchers select new varieties based on market advantages such as disease resistance, improved storage qualities and low acrylamide levels. More

US: IPM strategies to fight the Colorado Potato Beetle

As the effectiveness of the primary chemical weapon against the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) starts to wane, new ways to manage this pest are needed where potatoes are intensively grown, according to an article in the the Journal of Integrated Pest Management. The beetle is a major problem in areas such as Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, and Maine. Both chemical and non-chemical methods can be used to deal with the pest, according to two of the authors – Anders Huseth, a postdoctoral associate at North Carolina State University and Russell Groves, a professor of entomology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. News article . Journal article

Le secteur des patates mise sur l’exportation

Dotée d’une nouvelle campagne marketing et d’une technologie modernisée, le secteur de la pomme de terre mise sur son potentiel de croissance à l’exportation.  À l’étranger, les frites doivent davantage être associées à la Belgique et les opportunités de croissance technologique doivent être appliquées de manière optimale, indique mardi Belgapom, l’association du négoce et de la transformation belges de pommes de terre.  En 25 ans, le secteur de la pomme de terre est passé d’une production traditionnelle et locale tournée vers la consommation à une position de leader mondial dans l’export de pommes de terre congelées. Rapport

Les pommes de la grande distribution gorgées de pesticides

Des pesticides sont versés sur un champ de pommes de terre à Godewaersvelde (Nord) le 30 mai 2012. (archives)Alors que la ministre de l’Environnement Ségolène Royal a annoncé l’interdiction de la vente libre du Roundup, des cocktails de pesticides continuent à être utilisés par les producteurs de pommes dans de nombreux pays européens, notamment en France et en particulier par les agriculteurs fournissant la grande distribution, affirme mardi Greenpeace dans un rapport. En moyenne 75% des 85 échantillons analysés par l’ONG “contenaient des résidus d’au moins un” des 53 pesticides identifiés. “Au moins 70% des pesticides identifiés présentent une toxicité globale élevée pour la santé humaine et la faune sauvage”, écrit Greenpeace. Et c’est en Italie, en Belgique et en France que le nombre de pesticides le plus élevé a été détecté dans le sol. Rapport

Maine, Canadian potato farmers learn from Argentine counterparts

Potato growers from Maine joined forces with their Canadian counterparts and McCain Foods executives to travel 12,000 south miles this winter to Argentina as part of a mission to see what foreign farmers could teach and to learn from each other. The group of 10 New Brunswick and six Maine growers, all of who have contracts with McCain Foods, traveled to the country in January 2015. Maine and Canadian potato growers and McCain Foods executives travelled 12,000 miles south this winter to visit with their counterparts in Argentina to see what they could learn from each other. The group of 10 New Brunswick and six Maine growers, all of whom have contracts with McCain Foods, traveled to the country in January to observe how they grow potatoes for processing in Argentina, according to Yves Leclerc, McCain’s director of agronomy for North America. Information about the trip was only recently mentioned in the company’s June newsletter. More

VK: €1,1 mln voor nieuwe gmo aardappel

Wetenschappers van het Sainsbury Laboratorium hebben voor vijf jaar financiering gekregen om een genetisch gemodificeerde aardappel -beter voor het milieu, gezonder voor consumenten en goedkoper in productie- te ontwikkelen. Het aardappelproject van het laboratorium wordt geleid door Jonathan Jones en zal gefinancierd worden door het Tuinbouw- en Aardappelinitiatief. Een verdere 10 procent financiering wordt aangeboden door de industriële partners in het project: BioPotatoes UK Ltd en Simplot, gevestigd in de Verenigde Staten. Meer

Poland: Potato exports halved in first quarter

Photo: freeimages.comExports of Polish potatoes fell about 50 percent year on year in the first quarter of the year. In the first quarter of 2015 Polish potato exports were only 6,000 metric tons, down from 12,100 tons in the analogous period of 2014, according to a report by the Agriculture and Livestock Economics Continue reading

Los primeros pasos para hacer frente al mildiú de la patata de forma global

Los investigadores y las compañías europeas que están ocupadas haciendo frente al mildiú de la patata, Phytophthora infestans,comenzarán a trabajar más estrechamente con otros de todo el mundo. El primer paso hacia un trabajo conjunto se dio durante la reunión bienal de la red europea, EuroBlight, que se celebró este mes en Rumanía. Los compañeros de Norteamérica, Sudamérica y Asia fueron invitados a esta reunión. More

Australia: Pursuing Asia for spud exports

South Australia will actively pursue the Asian market for export of its crisping and seed potatoes. Outcomes from a Potatoes South Australia in-market supply chain analysis into the market potential in Malaysian and Thailand were delivered at an event in Adelaide earlier this month. The industry body received $35,000 through the SA Department of State Development in addition to $10,000 committed by Primary Industries and Regions South Australia and $15,000 through the South Australian Potato Industry Trust to explore the business possibilities between the state and Asian nations. More