PW4 2017

The European potato sector has many traditions. One of them is the annual Potato Queen election in the German potato region of Rhineland. Every year, a German beauty is honoured and hailed as the Ambassador for the Potato. The potato deserves a queen, just as the mussel, strawberry and many other stars among food products have a queen as a figure head.

PotatoNL. This is the name of the first national Dutch potato quotation, which was recently agreed by the regional Quotation Committees in this country. All the parties involved gave an explanation during a press meeting in Emmeloord on 13 September.

Albert Schirring is global Crop Manager for Potatoes, Fruit and Vegetables at the plant protection product manufacturer Bayer AG and works at its German Head Office in Monheim. For his work, he travels around the world and closely follows developments in the international potato sector. While driving through the woodlands near the village of Doorwerth in the Netherlands, the crop protection specialists raises his concerns about the position of the potato sector as the introduction of crop treatment products in Europe has stalled.

The German potato trading company Europlant has been selling potato varieties for 25 years now. After’ Die Wende’, the transition period to German reunification, the group to which Europlant belongs has evolved from a regional player to a multinational with 14 subsidiaries worldwide...

‘We were recently selected by McDonald’s as its Flagship Farm. Fantastic appreciation for this pioneering role, thanks in part to the use of sustainable precision techniques. My brother Jan and I are, of course, really proud and we also thank our parents who laid the basis for this.

Potato growers in the UK are on the eve of a new era. Not only because they are on the verge of Brexit, but also on account of the necessary upgrades in cultivation and storage. Following a visit to a few young entrepreneurs in Britain, it became apparent that investment is needed, especially for storage.

Machine manufacturer Mechatec from Tollebeek launched a new box filler at PotatoEurope 2017 in Emmeloord. The BF 280 Box Filler, as the new machine is called, is more product friendly and also has more capacity than the previous models of the brand.

With the provocative slogan ‘Making the European Potato Trade great again! (it’s gonna be huge, it’s gonna be great, it’s true!)’ Europatat has given a new and unconventional practical impetus to the importance of healthy European trade at the annual conference that took place in Antwerp on 16 June.

Anyone who ever travels in or through Belgium knows that there is a chip shop in every self-respecting village or city neighbourhood. This summer, this chip shop culture was elevated to the status of a Belgian intangible cultural heritage. During the festivities in Brussels, HRH Prince Laurent of Belgium said that, like the members of his family, he is a big fan of a bag of fries with, of course, masses of mayonnaise.

The world is demanding more and more potato products from the European Union, writes Cedric Porter, co-editor of World Potato Markets.

 

EU exports of frozen fries outside the 28 country union set a new record for the month in August at 121,558 tonnes, up 11.9% on the same month in 2016, with the trade valued at €88.626 million, an increase of 14.6%.

Thirteen years after starting up in the garage, on 30 June, The Potato Company (TPC) opened a new and modern business premises in Emmeloord, where, in addition to spacious offices and a big factory hall, it also has its own breeding laboratory. ‘We’re now growing 400 hectares of seed potatoes of our eight own varieties in the Netherlands and France.

When you talk to potato farmers here in the Netherlands they will tell you that the weather in 2017 was special. The start was good then we had a dry spell, especially in the south of the Netherlands and Belgium and crops were lagging behind. During summer the weather was favorable for production and crops were growing well. In September however we had heavy rain showers and in large parts of the country and potato fields were flooded for a shorter or longer time.

PotatoEurope in Emmeloord in mid-September was not dominated only by bad weather. There was also plenty of interest for the topic of precision farming in the potato sector on both the first PotatoEurope day, which was cancelled, and the second that went ahead. For those who could not be there...

It’s harvest time so it’s busy in the polders. So a nutritious lunch is very welcome. This type of Spanish tortilla is, in fact, a richly-filled farmhouse omelette.

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