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Seed potatoes go to waste due to trade restrictions

The repercussions of the tomato potato psyllid outbreak are taking shape in Western Australia (WA), with seed potato growers starting to feed hundreds of tonnes of perfectly good produce to their cattle. With exports of WA potatoes and tomatoes still ground to a halt, and a fully supplied local market, seed potato producers have no home for their produce. It has forced many growers, such as Albany’s Trevor Barker, to dump their…

New laser scanner to zap toxic french fries

Amid growing concern about the discovery of cancer-causing chemicals in potato chips and french fries, a young scientist at the University of Brussels has developed a new laser system that scans peeled potatoes in the factory to detect toxic compounds and prevent them from reaching the consumer. At present, raw potatoes that produce an excess of the carcinogenic chemical acrylamide cannot be detected in a fast, sensitive and non-destructive way. This new…

WA potato farmers prepare to leave industry because of tomato potato psyllid outbreak

A Western Australia seed potato grower will know in the next six weeks whether his lifelong career will continue. “[Farming] is something that we’ve done not just because I wanted to but because I get a reward for it, financially and personally,” said Alan Parker. “[This] may be the last crop we grow here.” Usually at this time of year, Parker’s farm would be busy and in the middle of harvesting his…

West Australia moves from Potato Psyllid Eradication to Control

Potato Psyllids, a destructive plant pest found for the first time in Australia in February, cannot be eradicated so the industry will seek to manage it, rather than destroy it. The Department of Food and Agriculture of West Australia said it would work on a plan to control the tomato potato psyllid, which attacks a range of vegetable crops including tomato, eggplant, capsicum, chilli and tamarillo. Department biosecurity and regulation executive director…

Ten million investment announced for potato processing plant in Kenya

Switzerland-based New Ventures, through its food and beverage subsidiary Kingdom Foods, has announced plans to set up a potato processing factory in Kenya, to be located in Elgeyo-Marakwet at a cost of Sh1 billion (US$10 million). Kingdom Food business development manager Sialo Kimiring said the move followed talks with the county as well as the need to improve the livelihoods of potato farmers through value addition. “The factory will give a sustainable…

US: Potato Growers Provide NAFTA Enhancements to Administration

In a letter to President Donald Trump, the National Potato Council (NPC) provided specific recommendations on how the Administration can improve the terms of trade for potato exports under NAFTA. “Improving NAFTA can benefit rural America and our nation’s economy,” said NPC Executive Vice President and CEO John Keeling. “The potato industry is strongly supportive of building on the successes we have seen over the life of NAFTA.” Canada and Mexico are…

World Review

BRAZIL In late February, the Brazilian Government imposed 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 arose when the Brazilian government started an anti-dumping investigation on the import of frozen potato products from Germany, Belgium, France and the Netherlands in 2015….

Worst Japan harvest in 34 years bites snack makers’ shares

Japan’s potato chip lovers, beware: Your favorite snacks may become harder to find. The country’s worst potato harvest in at least 34 years has prompted major snack makers to halt production of several types of snacks. The news hit share prices on Tuesday of Calbee Inc, which makes about half of Japan’s potato snacks including “Consonme Punch,” and Koike-ya Inc, both of which tumbled to two-month lows. Bad weather is the main…

Potato supplier HZPC charged by South African Competition Commission

South Africa’s Competition Commission has referred a Netherlands-based seed potato breeder and its exclusive South African distributor to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution, for abuse of dominance in relation to the exclusive supply of Mondial seed potatoes varietal in the country. Wesgro Potatoes, a potato seed grower in South Africa, has an exclusive agreement with HZPC Holland to sell the Mondial seed potato varietal to commercial farmers. In turn, commercial farmers grow…

Dutch Potato Processing Industry Approaches 4 Million Tonnes

Potato manufacturers in the Netherlands are approaching the four million tonnes of processed potatoes mark annually. From March 2016 to February 2017 3.942 million tonnes of potatoes were processed into consumer products in the Netherlands. Processing figures from the Dutch Organization of Potato Merchants (Nederlandse Aardappel Organisatie, NAO) shows that 334,000 tonnes of potatoes have been processed in the Netherlands in February 2017. Last year in the same month, the processing volume…

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