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Brazil imposes anti-dumping duty on frozen potatoes

Last week the Brazilian Government decided to impose an anti-dumping duty on frozen potatoes imported from Germany, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Brazil is an important export market for potato processors in Western Europe, so this duty can have significant economic impact for the processors. The issue is playing ever since the Brazilian government started an anti-dumping investigation on the import of frozen potato products from these countries in 2015. The anti-dumping…

Public trust in Canada’s food system

“Very serious” – that’s how United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC) general manager Kevin MacIsaac describes the issue of lost public trust in Canadian agriculture. “We have to approach this in the same way we would deal with issues of food safety and other key issues,” he says, “because it will eventually lead to declines in consumption of certain foods if people do not trust the source.” John Bareman, chair of the Canadian…

The Agricultural Growth Act: One Year Later

In 2015, the Canadian potato breeding landscape was transformed with the adoption of the Agricultural Growth Act. The AGA, or Bill C-18 as it was otherwise known, included amendments to the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act (PBRA) that brought Canada into compliance with the 1991 Act of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 91). Among the numerous provisions in the amended PBRA was extending the duration of…

Feds Secure Market Access for Alberta Seed Potatoes to Thailand

The Government of Canada has secured market access for Alberta seed potatoes to Thailand. Effective immediately, Alberta becomes the third province to have an export agreement with Thailand, joining Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, both of which secured export agreements in 2009. Combined, these three provinces form about 76 per cent of Canada’s seed potato exports. Alberta’s seed potato exports to Thailand could be worth up to $2 million annually, according to…

India cuts import duty on potatoes

The government of India has cut import duty on wheat, potatoes, and crude and refined palm oils ahead of the festival season to ensure prices remain under check. On Sept. 23, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC)  issued notification to cut import duty on potatoes to 10 per cent from 30 per cent until October 2016. Import duty on wheat has been lowered to 10 per cent from 25 per…

Increasing Competitiveness

Researchers have received $1.4 million in federal funding for an industry-driven research project to study ways of boosting potato production and address Canada’s declining export competitiveness. Announced by Agricultural Minister Gerry Ritz in Fredericton, N.B. on July 14, the national research effort is being led by Potatoes New Brunswick and involves the participation of scientists at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Potato Research Centre in Fredericton, N.B. along with University of Manitoba researchers, other…

Boosting Plant Breeders’ Rights

Earlier this year Canada became the newest country to revise its Plant Breeders’ Rights legislation with the adoption of the Agricultural Growth Act, also known as Bill C-18. The act includes amendments to the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act (PBRA), which brings Canada’s PBRA into compliance with the 1991 Convention of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 91). The amendments are expected to transform the Canadian potato…

A Year After

As of April 1, it will be one year since the Canadian Food Inspection Agency moved to expand the use of Alternative Service Delivery for the inspection of seed potato tuber shipments. The process to explore alternatives to the existing program was slow in 2014, but the Canadian potato industry is hopeful that significant progress will be made in 2015. The CFIA is working with industry stakeholders to identify an acceptable alternative…

ASD of Seed Potato Tuber Inspection

Beginning April 1, Canadian Food Inspection Agency inspectors will no longer perform grade and quality inspections for seed potato tubers shipped within Canada. Under Ottawa’s newly expanded Seed Potato Tuber Quality Management Program (SPTQMP), seed potato growers or their staff will have to carry out the job themselves, after becoming licensed and registered by CFIA to perform the inspections. This move to Alternate Service Delivery for seed potato tuber inspection, one of…

From our Desk

A New Way to Do Business

A New Way to Do Business The Seed Potato Tuber Quality Management Program (SPTQMP) has been around for a few years. Under the Canadian Food Inspection Agency program, growers or staff members are trained and licensed by the CFIA to perform seed potato tuber quality inspections themselves before the product is shipped out. Up to now, growers have signed up for the program on a volunteer basis — but that’s about to…

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