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India set to exhaust cold storage for potatoes

India set to exhaust cold storage for potatoes

India is reportedly on the brink of exhausting all of its cold storage space for potatoes. Due to low prices across the country, India’s growers are opting to place their potatoes in cold storage as they wait for the market to rebalance. 

Ashish Guru, senior vice-president of the Federation of Cold Storage Association of India, said, “Arrivals have flooded markets in various parts of the country such as Gujarat, Bengal, Punjab, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Most of the arrivals have been diverted to the cold storages.”

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Large French potato crop

Large French potato crop

France’s 2020 potato crop is up 3.4% from last year, reaching approximately 6.75 million tons, according to data published by the UNPT-CNIPT. The volume is 1.1% above the 5-year average. Acreage has expanded 1.4% to 154,900 ha. Average gross yield is around 43.6 ton/ha, which is better than last year, and slightly above the 5-year average. However, the current pandemic is likely to have a severe impact on the success of the campaign, with demand down in the food service channel.

 

 

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Slow demand in Chinese potato market

Slow demand in Chinese potato market © Eurofresh Distribution

© Eurofresh Distribution

 

China’s domestic potato market remained weak but stable at the start of December, with the supply of potatoes from each production area deemed “sufficient”. While high-grade products were attracting high prices, average-grade potatoes were not moving so fluidly, and volume was falling. Nevertheless, growers are reported to be optimistic about the future market prospects.

Prices remained relatively low but stable, with traders cautious about purchasing due to the rigid demand. The current slow market is partly the result of the large spring and autumn crops, which saturated the market. Another issue is that specialised sellers dominate China’s potato market, meaning that the scope of action for other trades is significantly reduced. To complicate matters further, transportation costs are rising as the weather conditions worsen, which makes traders reluctant to purchase potatoes at any given price.

According to Chinapotato.org, the market in various production areas may remain weak and stable, with the price of medium-grade potatoes potentially dipping slightly.

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Miss Tata is the brand for the Portuguese potato

Miss Tata is the brand for the Portuguese potato
Press release & photo:
  Porbatata – Portuguese Potato Association

Porbatata – Portuguese Potato Association creates brand to promote Portuguese potatoes worldwide.

24th November 2020 – Today, Porbatata, Associação da Batata de Portugal (Portuguese Potato Association) presented Miss Tata, the new collective brand for promoting Portuguese potatoes in the domestic and international marketplace. This is the first time that the Portuguese potato segment has united to create a collective image for this product, investing in differentiation and quality.

Miss Tata is versatile, dynamic, colourful, and cheerful. She’s the ambassador of Portuguese potatoes worldwide and aims to reflect qualities that lead to a nutritious and balanced diet. Miss Tata is proud to be Portuguese.

Porbatata presented the new brand through a live broadcast on Facebook with the presence of João Torres, Secretary of State for Trade, Services and Consumer Rights, Nuno Russo, Secretary of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Berta Redondo Benito, Secretary-General of Europatat and Sérgio Ferreira, president of Porbatata.

Porbatata has a project for Promoting Portuguese Potatoes in Foreign Markets running for two years. France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates and Angola are considered to be strategic markets.

This project is supported by Portugal 2020, within the scope of the Competitiveness and Internationalization Operational Programme, with an overall forecast investment of 352,988 euros, of which 85% is financed by the ERDF – European Regional Development Fund.

Besides creating a specific collective brand, other initiatives are planned, such as being present at international events and running promotional activities. Porbatata also aims to organise an International Portuguese Potato Competition in France.

In 2019, potato exports amounted to 28.5 million euros. The main destination markets were Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Cape Verde, France, Belgium, and Luxembourg.

In Portugal, potato consumption per capita is 93.6 kilos a year. Potatoes are produced throughout the country but especially in the Entre Douro e Minho, Trás-os-Montes, Beira Interior, Beira Litoral, Oeste, Ribatejo, Península de Setúbal e Costa Alentejana areas. In total, the land used for growing this food amounts to 22 thousand hectares and the average annual production is close to 500 thousand tonnes.

About PORBATATA
Founded on 28th September 2016, PORBATATA – Associação da Batata de Portugal (Portuguese Potato Association) is a non-profit organisation with the objective of promoting Portuguese potatoes as a healthy and distinctive food, highlighting their unique characteristics. Based in Lourinhã, in the Oeste region, it represents the interests of the entire segment in Portugal and is the only active voice in the sector, bringing together seed potatoes, production, marketing and sales, and the industry. It represents more than half the potato producers in Portugal and has more than fifty members.

#batataportuguesa

 

 

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Interpom put back to November 2021

Interpom put back to November 2021

Despite the Belgian government authorising trade fairs to be held from 1 September 2020 provided they comply with the measures currently applicable to commerce, Kortrijk Xpo and Belgapom have jointly decided to postpone INTERPOM for a year until 28-30 November 2021 in Kortrijk Xpo.

INTERPOM has 326 exhibitors and 19,500 visitors from 49 countries. The international character of INTERPOM, the central role of the trade fair as a congenial meeting place for potato professionals, the many tasting sessions, the intensive preparation time for an event of this scope and the uncertainty regarding international travel – all these factors were taken into account by the organisation in the decision to move INTERPOM to November 2021 in the interests of all stakeholders.

A growing number of exhibitors have also indicated that November 2020 is too early to take optimum advantage of the revival of economic activity. The management/head offices located abroad have also stressed the existence of a prohibition on national and international commercial travel, participation in trade fairs and visits. At the moment, businesses in the potato sector are mainly preoccupied with reorganisation as they restart operations.

The coronavirus crisis has had a particularly large impact on the potato. The worldwide lockdown resulted in it not being possible to process part of the world’s available potatoes. There is a certain degree of recovery in many markets, but it is still not clear how the new season will evolve. Europe, meanwhile, continues to work towards a more sustainable world, and this includes the potato sector. The imminent Green Deal and potato storage without chemical inhibition of germination are a couple of illustrations that demonstrate that INTERPOM in 2021 will certainly be able to fulfil its role as a meeting platform in more suitable circumstances and thereby help stimulate the necessary recovery.

BELGAPOM, the recognised professional association for the Belgian potato trade and processing industry, which is also the initiator of the fair, has this to say about the postponement:

Chairman of Belgapom, Marc van Herreweghe, said, “Exceptional times require exceptional decisions. The potato chain does not shrink from its responsibility even as we face these difficult times. As sector federation, we will of course continue to fully support INTERPOM and we look forward to the next edition in November 2021.”

Secretary of Belgapom, Romain Cools, said, “By definition, the potato chain is a sector in which personal contacts at both national and international levels are vitally important for all the operators involved. INTERPOM is much more than a trade fair; it is also an international meeting place for thousands of potato professionals. If INTERPOM is not able to guarantee these personal contacts for Belgian and international visitors, it seems only responsible to postpone the fair by a year. I am convinced that the November 2021 edition, more than ever, will be a building block for a strong, dynamic and sustainable Belgian and European potato chain.”

The structure of the fair is being maintained, only the dates are changing from November 2020 to 28, 29 and 30 November 2021. This postponed edition will be hybrid: the physical, on-site fair will be supplemented with an interactive, online platform (offering e.g. AI-based matchmaking, product pages, appointment modules, videoconferencing facilities, live and on-demand seminars, mobile apps, etc.).

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The joint promotion campaign “Potatoes, prepare to be surprised – Europe’s favourite since 1536” goes live!  

The joint promotion campaign “Potatoes, prepare to be surprised - Europe's favourite since 1536” goes live!  

                                                                                                                                                                                          Press release

Bord Bia, CNIPT, VLAM and Europatat are thrilled to announce that the European campaign “Potatoes, prepare to be surprised – Europe’s favourite since 1536” is now live. The three-year campaign, co-financed by the European Commission under the EU Promotion policy, will run until the end of 2022 and is now live online under the hashtag #potatosurprises.  
 
To encourage the consumption of fresh potatoes among millennials, a hundred surprising and inspiring potato recipes will be shared on various social media channels as well as on the website www.preparetobesurprised.eu, which already contains recipes and general information about potatoes in seven different European languages. Instagram acts as the backbone of the campaign, but other social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest or YouTube are also used to provide tips and tricks on how to easily integrate potatoes into millennials’ daily lifestyle.  
 
The surprise factor is key in all these platforms, as one the main ideas of the campaign is to reveal aspects that young Europeans do not know yet about fresh potatoes, or to break myths about these products in a credible way. Following this, a series of events or “potato surprises” will be organised in Flanders (Belgium), France and Ireland to draw millennial’s attention to the surprising versatility of potatoes. These events will be announced and promoted in the following social media profiles:  
 
– Instagram: @potatosurprises.eu, @lespommesdeterre.eu and @aardappelen.eu 
 
– Facebook: Potatosurprises.eu and Aardappelen.eu 

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Side Delights® announces Steamables™ fifht year as #1 selling brand of microwave/steamable potato

Side Delights® announces Steamables™ fifht year as #1 selling brand of microwave/steamable potato

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Press release

Third-party study confirms Side Delights® Steamables™ continues to lead the segment and drive category performance

San Francisco, CA (June 10, 2020) –For the third time, data* shows that Side Delights® Steamables™ continues to lead the microwave/steamable segment as the #1 selling brand of microwave/steamer bags. Launched in 2008, Side Delights Steamables are B-sized potatoes in a 1.5 lb. microwavable pouch that are triple-washed, microwave in the bag, and ready to eat in 8 minutes. The new data reconfirms that the entire potato category performs better for retailers who carry Steamables than those who don’t. The 2019 study is the third in a series of data insights tracked by Fresh Solutions Network to help retailers increase sales with Side Delights® Steamables™.

The first study was conducted in 2015 by Nielsen Perishables Group on the microwaveable/steamable fresh potato segment.  It identified that Side Delights® Steamables™ was the leading brand in the steamable segment, with 54.4% of all microwaveable bag volume measured by Nielsen, accounting for half of all dollar sales in the segment. Nielsen’s analytics determined that the source of Steamables’ impressive sales power came from its superior sales velocity. In the study, Nielsen found that when Steamables were in the shopping basket, it resulted in nearly twice the register ring of a basket with any produce item, and 28% more than the average shopping basket that included fresh potatoes. 

The second study was conducted by in 2017 by Nielsen FreshFacts®, showing the continuing positive performance of the steamable/microwavable segment led by Side Delights® Steamables™. With potatoes leading as the #1 ranked vegetable based on volume sales, and the microwavable/steamable potato segment continuing to grow, Side Delights® Steamables™ dominated with 62% of the dollar share and 63% of the volume share in the segment. Additionally, Side Delights® Steamables’ dollar velocity outpaced the competition, selling faster than any of the other brands.

The newest study was conducted in 2019 by IRI, a leading market intelligence and analytics company. Once again, it confirmed that potatoes remain the #1 ranked vegetable based on volume sales, and Side Delights® Steamables™ continued to lead the microwave/steamer bag segment as the #1 selling brand. Side Delights® Steamables™ represented the majority of dollar and volume share in the microwave/steamer segment of the potato category with 58.7% dollar share and 61.1% volume.  IRI data also showed that the Steamables family of potato products (6 items) work harder than the aggregated 31 items of the competitive set towards a retailer’s potato category sales. 

Side Delights® Steamables™ products include:

  • Red potatoes
  • Golden potatoes
  • Fingerling potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Medley Potatoes
  • Duo potatoes – combo Red & Yellow

“The cumulative impact of these studies is impressive, as they show that Side Delights® Steamables™ has been leading the segment since 2015,” explained Kathleen Triou, President and CEO of Fresh Solutions Network. “Perhaps even more importantly, it confirms that retailers who carry Side Delights® Steamables™ have a better performing potato category than retailers who carry the competition.”

Fresh Solutions Network created Side Delights® in 2014 as a national brand that would unify all of the most popular fresh potato segments under a single name that consumers would easily remember and instantly associate with superior quality. For more information on Side Delights® products, programs and recipes, visit www.sidedelights.com. For more information on Side Delights® Grown Where It Matters campaign, visit www.GrownWhereItMatters.com.

About Fresh Solutions Network, LLC:  Fresh Solutions Network (FSN) is the exclusive supplier of Side Delights® potatoes and onions.  FSN is a group of family-owned potato and onion growers and shippers who help fresh potato and onion buyers grow their categories, maximize category investment, and increase sales. FSN delivers category insights, collaborative innovation, and customized assortment. Fresh Solutions Network, LLC partners include: Sterman Masser, Inc. (Masser Potato Farms and Keystone Potato Products in Sacramento and Hegins, PA), Michael Family Farms, Inc.  (Urbana, OH), Basin Gold Cooperative, Inc. (Pasco, WA), Green Thumb Farms, Inc. (Fryeburg, ME), Red Isle Potato Growers, Ltd. (Prince Edward Island, Canada), NoKota Packers, Inc. (Buxton, ND), Sun-Glo of Idaho, Inc. (Sugar City, ID) and Mack Farms (Lake Wales, FL).

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Solynta turns to technology in potato industry

Solynta turns to technology in potato industry

Solynta has succeeded in developing Hybrid True Potato Seeds (HTPS), a milestone for which the company has taken out a new US patent. HTPS require only 25 grams, rather than 2,500 kilograms of potato tubers, to cover a hectare of land. HTPS can produce around 5,000 seeds per season compared to 10 new seed tubers per plant per season as was previously the case. This change can help speed up the introduction of new potato varieties for farmers and increase food safety within the potato industry by producing clean, virus-free true seeds.  
“One of the main challenges faced by Solynta is understanding the complex potato genome. Unwrapping the complex potato genome sequence takes time and resources. Identifying the genome sequence opens opportunities for us to focus on the areas that need to be improved, such as increasing resistance to diseases,” said Charles Miller, commercial director of Solynta.
Solynta utilises hybrid technology to create new varieties of potato. To further increase the nutritional value of potatoes and increase resistance to disease, the company continues to breed new potato varieties. Solynta is able to produce new varieties from true potatoes, which require less chemical usage and make a smaller environmental footprint.  

For inquiries, contact: Charles Miller, Solynta; charles.miller@solynta.com

Photo: Solynta
 

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Agrico launches Next Generation potatoes

Agrico launches Next Generation potatoes

 

The long wait is over as the launch of Phytophthora- resistant varieties is set to truly propel sustainable potato cultivation.

Developed by Agrico, a pioneer in seed potato cultivation, Next Generation was launched this February as a new line of tubers with Phytopthora resistance. The range includes Carolus, Alouette, Levante, Twister, Twinner, Ardeche and Nofy. Their appearance and excellent taste are preserved and the potatoes can be used in a range of ways, from industrial uses to starch, chips, salads and other chilled potato products.

What keeps Agrico a forerunner in the industry is its focus on innovation. The company started working on developing new potato varieties that are both sustainable and disease-resistant in the 1980s. It has always followed conventional breeding techniques and not resorted to GMOs. “You can be successful even using the traditional ways,” said Wieger van der Werff, commercial manager at Agrico.

Today, Agrico has 750 active growers in the Netherlands and continues to cater to both Europe and overseas. One of the challenges cited by van de Werff is the increasing demand for potatoes. This has been brought about by the emergence of markets such as India, China, and Latin America. In response to this demand, the company has expanded its operations outside the Netherlands, to tap into countries like France, Poland, and Scotland.

Agrico is a Dutch cooperative established in 1973. It entered into a joint project with Bayer and Yara to create sustainable potato value chains in Kenya. The aim is to help small-scale farmers utilise correct and high-quality farming methods. All of these programmes position Agrico as a true leader in elevating both potato breeding and farming. 

For inquiries: Gert Jan Laurman, G.Laurman@agrico.nl

TAGS: Agrico, potato, Netherlands, Next Generation

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Agrico reaches out to the world with ‘Next Generation’ 

Agrico reaches out to the world with ‘Next Generation’ 

Agrico is a co-operative of potato growers involved in breeding, growing, collecting, processing and marketing on average 500,000 tons of potatoes a year. Two years ago, the company developed a series of potato varieties with high Phytophthora resistance which they refer to as the ‘Next Generation’ potatoes. In addition to their unique high resistance, these sustainable varieties have outstanding consumption qualities in terms of appearance, taste and versatility. These qualities make the varieties attractive for both growers and customers. 

Agrico’s portfolio has a suitable variety for practically every segment. The assortment includes Carolus, Alouette, Levante, Twister, Twinner, Ardeche and Nofy. Two more potentials are arriving that will widen the scope of traits offered by the varieties. 

Together with its subsidiaries, Agrico will demonstrate its successful contribution to sustainable potato cultivation for the ‘Next Generation’ varieties at Fruit Logistica. Visit Agrico at Hall 1.2 – D11. For more details, contact: Linda de Jong; l.de.jong@agrico.nl; +31-527639980