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Browsing articles by Paul Sawatzky

Marketing Potatoes to Today’s Consumers

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking the only way to potato farming success is to produce more. While yield is absolutely a priority (and new varieties with higher yield potential and ever-better agronomics are constantly being introduced), building a healthy potato industry into the future depends on marketing higher value product. How? As an entire value chain, we — seed companies and growers, primary producers, processors and retailers —…

The Customer is Always Right

Over the past few months, we’ve received an increasing number of requests for new and evermore detailed information from our customers. Suddenly, customers are asking for additional pathogen tests (increasingly for diseases not found in our growing areas), highly specific production details, new traceability verifications, and more. We understand: our customers are being pressured by their customers, so they need to push the questions down the value chain to us, their seed…

Navigating the Challenges of New Trucking Regulations: We’re All in this Together

New regulations governing U.S. truckers’ driving hours are hitting agriculture hard. Not only are prices for trucking way up (we’ve seen a spike of 20 per cent or more to some locations), lack of adequate trucking capacity means it sometimes seems nearly impossible to find an available truck. Producers have been calling us since the regulations came into effect looking for suggestions on how to manage the changes. We always want to…

A Wide World Awaits: Why Looking Beyond the U.S. Market Matters to Canadian Potatoes

For decades, Canadian farmers have relied on U.S. markets to purchase the vast majority of our country’s exported agricultural product. Potatoes are no exception: a whopping 86 per cent (totalling $1.37B) of all exported potatoes and potato products, of which the lion’s share is frozen fries, headed south across the border last year. But, with NAFTA still unresolved, harsh new tariffs now targeting Canadian steel and aluminum, and trade talks of all…

Marketing Potatoes: Our Shared Responsibility and Combined Benefit

Back a generation or two ago when seemingly every North American home bought potatoes by the 20 lb bag and variety options were limited, marketing potatoes was straightforward: grocers simply put potatoes on their shelves and customers bought them. Instant access to information, hugely expanded grocery options, and a burgeoning number of potato types, sizes and end-uses, however, means potato marketing today is a critical, complicated priority that the entire value chain…

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