Categories
Food Loss/Waste

Washington growers have a billion pounds of potatoes that they can’t sell

Washington growers have a billion pounds of potatoes sitting around that they can’t get rid of because restaurants don’t need them. Ninety percent of Washington potatoes go to processors. Due to this lockdown, processors and restaurants are closed. This lead growers to the brink of financial collapse. When all of that shuts down, it has a huge ramification for all the processors and the growers.

There are 4 billion pounds of potatoes already harvested. About 70% of that will be shipped overseas, but that leaves a billion pounds in storage. Those farmers that can sell their product have seen the wholesale price fall below the costs to produce them.

Read more at MyNorthWest.com

Categories
Aeroponics

Aeroponics: growing plants in an air or mist environment

Aeroponics is the process of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil or other medium. The basic principal is to grow plants in a closed environment by periodically spraying roots with a nutrient rich solution. The obvious benefit to aeroponics is the volume of plants that can be grown year-round on a limited amount of space. Once established, the aeroponics system can be adjusted to grow anything from greens to berries and tomatoes by simply adjusting the inputs. The lack of soil also affords a disease-free environment. For example,

  1. AeroFarms, the front-runner aeroponics company, have the largest indoor vertical farm of its kind in the world, located in Newark, New Jersey. AeroFarms’ claims to use up to 95% less water and zero pesticides vs. traditional field farming. AeroFarms has grown over 800 different varieties of crops and sees potential even beyond food production to extend to other verticals like pharmaceutical, cosmeceutical, and nutraceutical.
  2. In developing countries like India and China, Aeroponics technology is majorly used for mini-tuber (potato seed) production. This results in 7 to 10 times mini-tubers production from in-vitro plantlets as compared to cultivation under net house conditions.

The potential of the technology can be understood from the fact that, The Abu Dhabi Investment Office, ADIO, has launched a targeted incentive programme to accelerate the growth of the emirate’s burgeoning (AgTech) ecosystem and promote innovation. The packages are being dispersed as part of ADIO’s AED1 billion (US$272 million) AgTech Incentive Programme, established a year ago to develop next generation agriculture in arid and desert agriculture. The Abu Dhabi Investment Office, ADIO, has partnered with AeroFarms to focus on next-generation genetic phenotyping and organoleptic research while also tackling the challenges of desert agriculture from its new 8,200-sqm R&D centre in Abu Dhabi.

Categories
Policy

European Commission announces exceptional measures to support the agri-food sector

The Commission is taking swift action and proposes additional exceptional measures to further support agricultural and food markets most affected. The package includes measures for private storage aid (PSA) in the dairy and meat sectors, the authorisation of self-organisation market measures by operators in hard hit sectors and flexibility in fruits and vegetables, wine and some other market support programmes.

Exceptional measures announced as a further response to the Coronavirus crisis include:

  1. Private storage aid: the Commission proposes to grant private storage aid for dairy (skimmed milk powder, butter, cheese) and meat (beef, sheep and goat meat) products. This measure will lead to a decrease of available supply on the market and rebalance the market on the long-term.
  2. Flexibility for market support programmes: the Commission will introduce flexibility in the implementation of market support programmes for wine, fruits and vegetables, olive oil, apiculture and the EU’s school scheme (milk, fruits and vegetables). This will allow the reorientation of funding priorities towards crisis management measures for all the sectors.
  3. Exceptional derogation from EU competition rules: applicable to the milk, flowers and potatoes sectors, the Commission will authorise the derogation from certain competition rules. For example, the milk sector will be allowed to collectively plan milk production and the flower and potatoes sector will be allowed to withdraw products from the market.

Such agreements and decisions would only be valid for a period of maximum six months. Consumer price movements will be monitored closely to avoid adverse effects.

Read more at European Commission

Categories
Uncategorized

European vegetable producers are asking to open the Russian market for export

The Association of European Fruit and Vegetable Manufacturers (Eucofel) called on the European Commission to open export to the Russian market. An open letter asking to resume dialogue with Russia was signed by representatives of the fruit and vegetable sector of Spain, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland and Portugal. In addition, producers of fruits and vegetables are asked to introduce temporary support measures for producers, which would guarantee an adequate level of product prices, restore market balance and eliminate violations.

Now Russian counter-sanctions, restricting the supply of certain types of agricultural products from the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia, Norway, Albania, Montenegro, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Ukraine, apply to almost all types of vegetables and fruits, with the exception of potato, onion, pea and corn, as well as frozen and dried vegetables imported for the production of baby food.

Read more at Potato System