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Potatoes: A Major Provider of Fibre and Vitamins to the UK Diet

In the UK, potatoes contribute 12% of the total fibre, 14% of the vitamin C and 13% of the vitamin B6 intake in adults. These figures, from Public Health England, marry well with the messages in BBC programme The truth about ‘carbs’ that aired on 6 June. The dietitian behind the show, Dr Alison Barnes, said it was about encouraging people to eat ‘smarter’ carbs. Dr Barnes said: “The aim was to…

Bayer Closes Monsanto Acquisition

Bayer successfully completed the acquisition of Monsanto on Thursday, June 7. Shares in the U.S. company will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange, with Bayer now the sole owner of Monsanto Company. Monsanto shareholders are being paid 128 U.S. dollars per share. J.P. Morgan assisted Bayer with processing the purchase price payment for the largest acquisition in the company’s history. According to the conditional approval from the United…

Automated Potato Packaging Solution Lowers Operating Costs

Paxiom has recently improved their WeighPack Systems PrimoCombi multi-head weigher. The new and improved system means operators have less to learn, technicians simplify troubleshooting, managers enjoy more uptime, and executives benefit from lower operating costs. The scale, highly conducive to food industry packaging, is constructed entirely in food grade 304 stainless steel and an open frame design leaves no small crevices for bacteria to hide. The PrimoCombi, available in various weigh-bucket configurations,…

Innovation Expands Opportunity with P.E.I. Potato Producer

Federal support is allowing Thompson Potato Company Inc. to increase its processing capacity and extend the packing season, creating longer term employment for staff while supporting local potato growers. A repayable contribution of $350,000, provided through Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Business Development Program will help the company build a new state-of-the-art ventilated storage expansion onto its facility in Victoria, P.E.I., and install optical sorting equipment. “The storage upgrades and new optical…

From potatoes to pot: former Spudco facility to grow marijuana

Some new life is being breathed into a massive potato facility once owned by the Saskatchewan government. In the 1990s, the provincial government spent millions of dollars trying to develop the provincial potato industry before abandoning the plan completely. Now, Vancouver-based United Greeneries plans to open a marijuana facility in a massive 60,000 square foot facility once owned by Spudco in Lucky Lake, roughly 130 kilometres southwest of Saskatoon. READ MORE  

Spudnik celebrates 60 years

It was the same year the Russian satellite Sputnik was launched into space that Spudnik Equipment Company launched itself into the potato equipment manufacturing business. It started in a potato cellar northwest of Blackfoot, Idaho (the potato capital of the world), by a group of men with the idea that loading potatoes should be less back breaking than the method they were using. Brothers Carl and Leo Hobbs designed and developed the…

Market News

For the fourth straight year, the national potato yield in Canada has hit a new record high. According to figures from Statistics Canada, the national yield per acre for the 2017 potato crop was 309 hundredweight (cwt). That’s up slightly from the previous record-setting level of 308 cwt per acre in 2016. Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC) isn’t surprised the yield number is maintaining its…

Lamb Weston Invests in Additional Fry Line

Lamb Weston Holdings has announced an expansion of french fry processing capacity in North America and an increase in its quarterly dividend. The company announced an investment to expand operations at its Hermiston, Oregon, processing facility, with the construction of a 300m pound-per-year, state-of-the-art french fry line. The new line will be modeled on the company’s recently operational production line in Richland, Washington, and is expected to be completed in the fourth…

Potato Growers of Alberta name new board

The Potato Growers of Alberta (PGA) named their new board during their annual general meeting in Red Deer in November. Board Chairman is Russell Van Boom, Northbank Potato Farms Ltd., while Board Vice Chairman is Michel Camps, CP Farms Ltd. Rounding out the board is: Lyndon Nakamura, Nakamura Farms Ltd.; Jeff Ekkel, Sunnycrest Seed Potatoes Inc.; Tony Bos, Boston Farms Ltd.; James Bareman, Bareman Farms; and Louis Claassen, Claassen Farms Ltd. For…

Company executive makes predictions for future of potato industry

While he maintains there will be a market for potatoes well into the future, Ghislain Pelletier predicts the future of the industry will bear little resemblance to the past. The global vice-president for agronomy for McCain Foods was one of the keynote speakers at the recent annual meeting of the PEI Potato Board. Pelletier told the meeting he has spent virtually his entire life in the industry as he grew up on…

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