GFM Network News


Plummeting french fry sales has potato growers re-evaluating

Restaurant closures have slashed demand although ‘chip sales have been great,’ says official

French fry sales are down across North America as tens of thousands of restaurants have closed during COVID-19, which means the potato industry has to adapt quickly. Companies that turn potatoes into french fries, wedges and hash browns are slowing down, because there isn’t enough space to store all the frozen product. In Alberta and […] Read more

Plummeting french fry sales have potato growers re-evaluating

Restaurant closures slash demand, though 'chip sales have been great'

French fry sales are down across North America as tens of thousands of restaurants have closed during COVID-19, meaning the potato industry has to adapt quickly. Companies that turn potatoes into french fries, wedges and hash browns are slowing down, because there isn’t enough space to store all the frozen product. In Alberta and Manitoba, […] Read more


Unseasonal rain, hail damage winter crops in India

Crop quality issues may pressure prices

New Delhi | Reuters — Unseasonal torrential rains and hailstorms have damaged the winter-planted crops of millions of Indian growers, inundating wheat, potato, chickpea and rapeseed farms in large parts of the fertile northern plains, farmers said. Most farmers were caught by surprise by the repeated rain and hail that has lashed fields full of […] Read more

McCain to dial up fry production in New Brunswick

The company behind about a quarter of the world’s frozen French fries plans to ramp up demand from New Brunswick potato growers with a line capacity upgrade at its recently expanded plant there. McCain Foods announced Aug. 27 it will put up another $12 million to add capacity to its Florenceville, N.B. plant’s French fry […] Read more


Alberta potato producers back non-refundable checkoff

Alberta potato farmers have overwhelmingly voted to make their checkoff non-refundable. In a recent plebiscite, 56 producers (82.3 per cent) voted in favour of making the service charge non-refundable. There were 11 opposing votes and one spoiled ballot. There are about 140 licensed potato growers in the province, cropping about 53,000 acres (mostly processing potatoes) […] Read more

Simplot to supersize Portage la Prairie fry plant

U.S. agrifood giant J.R. Simplot plans to bulk up its potato processing footprint in southern Manitoba with a $460 million plant expansion. The company and the provincial government on Wednesday announced construction will begin this spring on a 280,000-square foot expansion at its 180,000-square foot french fry processing plant at Portage la Prairie. The expansion, […] Read more


At least two killed in potato farmer protests in Peru

Lima | Reuters — At least two people have been killed in clashes at protests by potato farmers across the Peruvian Andes, police said on Thursday, as demonstrators demanded the government make good on promises to buy excess potatoes after a sharp price drop. Thousands of farmers took part in the protests on Wednesday and […] Read more

Alberta, feds back Lethbridge potato processing plant

The federal and Alberta governments are set to cover over $22 million in costs related to the construction of Cavendish Farms’ new potato processing plant at Lethbridge. The two levels of government on Monday announced $20 million for the City of Lethbridge for related municipal infrastructure developments, through the federal/provincial Clean Water and Wastewater Fund […] Read more


Pearce: Tests negative, weather positive for late blight in Ont. potatoes

Aside from concerns regarding drier conditions in different potato-growing regions of Ontario, some growers are testing for late blight. Spore traps near Delhi came back negative recently — but did indicate an increase at the end of the experiment. Eugenia Banks, a consultant for the Ontario Potato Board, stated such a “signal” might indicate an […] Read more