Saturday, 28 March 2015

Tomorrow's industry leaders are trained at 2015 PILI

Tomorrow's industry leaders are trained at 2015 PI...

  The Potato Industry Leadership Institute (PILI) Class of 2015 included twenty-seven potato grow...

Campaign “Cook Your Own Potatoes”, supported by Olympic athlete

Campaign “Cook Your Own Potatoes”, supported by Ol...

Potato Council has added an exciting new dimension to its successful ‘Cook Your Own Potatoes’ projec...

Horsch won "Best new product or innovation" category at LAMMA’15 Award

Horsch won Best new product or innovation catego...

The equipment manufacturer Horsch UK won the “Best New Product or Innovation” at LAMMA’15, the annua...

H.J. Heinz Company and Kraft Foods Group to form the Kraft Heinz Company

H.J. Heinz Company and Kraft Foods Group to form the Kr...

H.J. Heinz Company and Kraft Foods Group, Inc. announced they have entered into a definitive merger agr...

Consumer needs drive potato innovation strategy

Consumer needs drive potato innovation strategy

  Head of Potato Council R D Dr Mike Storey discusses Potato Council’s new Research and Innovation Str...

The US FDA gave green light to six varieties of GMO potatoes

The US FDA gave green light to six varieties of GMO pot...

  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration completed its evaluation for six varieties of potatoes genetic...

TOMRA launches its newest peeling solution for seasonal vegetables and fruit processors

TOMRA launches its newest peeling solution for seasonal...

  TOMRA Sorting Food will reveal the latest addition to its steam peeling portfolio at Anuga FoodTec, ...

Loma launches its new X-ray contaminant inspection machine

Loma launches its new X-ray contaminant inspection mach...

  The equipment manufacturer Loma Systems launched its new X-ray contaminant inspection machine, a mod...

Key Technology expands global customer service and support

Key Technology expands global customer service and supp...

  Key Technology announces the expansion of its global customer service and support, helping food proc...

Potatoes are back on WIC, a nutritional program for women, infants and children in USA

Potatoes are back on...

The National Potato Council (NPC) from USA succeeded to put ...

Exclusive interview with the director of Urschel Laboratories, Inc: The Urschel team is a very strong one

Exclusive interview ...

What began with one man's invention more than 100 years ago ...

Important investment in Lamb Weston frozen food facility in Netherlands will add capacity and jobs

Important investment...

Lamb Weston / Meijer, a joint venture between US-based ConAg...

Thanksgiving Feast, a new line of kettle-cooked potato chips

Thanksgiving Feast, ...

Boulder Canyon Foods introduces Thanksgiving Feast, a new ...

Potato Week 2014 to take place on October 6-12

Potato Week 2014 to ...

The dates for Potato Week 2014 are October 6-12 and the camp...

Indian Government will procure 6,600 tones of potato from farmers

Indian Government wi...

The State Government announced its decision to procure 6,6...

Company launches a new solution for potato sprouting

Company launches a n...

  BioSafe Systems announces the introduction of ARRET Spr...

Seed Industry Event conference tackles key industry concerns

Seed Industry Event ...

The recent Seed Industry Event, organized by British Potato ...

Armenia registered an important growth in potato exports in 2014

Armenia registered a...

Armenian potato exports totaled about 20,600 tons, compared ...

McDonald’s does not plan to use J.R. Simplot's GMO potatoes

McDonald’s does not ...

A huge debate is happening these days in the USA involving...

European Potato Processors' Association has launched its new name, EUPPA, at a European Parliament event in Brussels.

Company president of EUPPA, Kees Meijeris, yesterday told members of the European Parliament and staff members of the European Commission at the European Parliament, Brussels, the new name of the former UEITP (Union européenne des industries de transformation de pommes de terre).

Although the European potato processing industry is a young sector of the food industry, the European association was created in 1962. Since then the sector had developed to become a world player with about 12 million tonnes of potatoes (20 per cent of the total EU crop) being processed to frites, crisps, croquettes, flakes, mashed, and other potato products.

More than 25,000 employees have found a job in the industry with 550,000 tonnes of finished product being exported all over the world. Major exporters include the Netherlands, Canada, Belgium and the United States.

However the sector also has a rich tradition of marketing a wide variety of potato specialities in the various EU member states.

The first EUPPA event took place under the title ‘bringing tradition on today's plate, all over the world'. Today EUPPA represents the ‘big five' potato producers in the EU: Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and United Kingdom, as well as Austria, Italy, Poland and Sweden. It is also a member of the CIAA, Europe's food industry association.

Referreing to the UN international year of the potato in 2008, Meijer believes potato consumption is facing a promising future with the possibilities of the humble potato as a major world food staple have been illustrated. He added that, with China and India becoming the major fresh potato producing countries, a specific role was necessary for the processing industry in these areas.

During his presentation he also focused on a number of challenges which the sector is facing, in which he hopes the European Parliament and the Commission will take the role of the potato processing industry into consideration.

Although the potato crop is one of the few agricultural products which is not organised by a European market regime, Meijer fears the revision of the European agricultural policy in 2013 could neglect the specific role of this sector. Europe is highly competitive on the world market with its potato production - without any support or intervention - and EUPPA has invited the European policy makers to take this into account when new proposals are being worked out.

Furthermore he referred to the changes in the sugar regime which have affected the balance in the crop rotation of European arable farmers which the impact analysis carried out by the Commission did not consider.

The EUPPA president also referred to a number of measures in the framework of the EU quality policy for agricultural products to illustrate how they might increase the cost of the European potato products. He questioned the added value of mentioning the origin of raw potatoes on a bag of potato products, knowing that the production area of the EU is concentrated in at least four or five member states.

The European potato processing industry has provided an answer to the health questions asked by the Commission and Parliament. The use of liquid (healthier) oils in the food service has resulted in a positive effect on trans fat reduction. The industry has introduced new and healthier potato products on the market at a high speed. Oven fries, precooked fresh and half prepared products and mashed potatoes are some examples where nutrition, convenience and health have met.

Meijer discussed the current debate on the labelling of nutrition values on food products. He asked for more clarity and legal certainty regarding the labelling of certain processing aids. He added that after years of discussion it was still not clear whether the labelling of the use of pyrophosphate (to stabilise the colour of the products) is obligatory or not.

He also invited attendees to consider the question of the potato, fruit and vegetable sector (at least for a number of products) being able to communicate the nutrient benefits of the product to the consumers without having to pass a long and expensive procedure via EFSA.

One of the major issues affecting the image of the processed potato products is the appearance of acrylamide when heating of a number of starchy food stuffs. Although this issue affects other food sectors, the potato processors have tackled this problem in a proactive way. The sector has worked out - together with CIAA and the scientific world - a specific tool box to reduce the acrylamide content in its products. This toolbox has become a reference on the Commission's website. The outcome of a recent study carried out by the Ghent University on the effect of using a number of additives during the process will be presented at a seminar on 17 March in Ghent.

The EUPPA president also mentioned the participation of the potato processing industry in the current revision of the European plant health regime and the sustainable consumption and production, referring to the ambitious European SCP round table.

Finally he offered to provide transparency in the prices in the food supply chain. He concluded that the potato processing industry has become a global industry, without any interventions or subsidies, with the market as the most important driver. He hoped policy makers would enable this sector to continue its further development in the same way.

He added that EUPPA wants to take up the challenge to increase communication and collaboration with the Parliament and the Commission.

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