(click on headline for full story)
Visit our Newsletter Archives for the archived version of this issue
and all USPB E-Newsletters
|Retail Marketing/Domestic||CROP TRANSITION – A RETAIL OPPORTUNITY IN DISGUISE|
|Consumer Nutrition Public Relations/Domestic||USPB GRILLING RECIPES HIT WIDE AUDIENCE
|Chip-Stock/Domestic||NATIONAL CHIP PROCESSING TRIALS GAINS NEW MEMBER|
|USPB CHIP COMMITTEE ELECTS OFFICERS, REORGANIZES SUB-COMMITTEES|
|Chip-Stock/Market Access/International||JAPAN EXTENDS SHIPPING WINDOW FOR US CHIPPING POTATOES TO INCLUDE JULY|
|Table-Stock/Retail/International||VARIETY INFORMATION TRANSLATES INTO SALES IN MEXICO|
|Frozen/International||LOWER TARIFFS ASSIST IN INCREASING US FROZEN POTATO EXPORTS TO MEXICO|
|Industry Communications||ON THE RADIO, ON THE INTERNET: THE “US POTATO UPDATE”!!|
|Industry Partnerships||SYNGENTA MANNAPACK™ POTATO STORY VIDEO NOW ON YOUTUBE|
|CONTROL POWDERY SCAB WITH AN INTEGRATED APPROACH THROUGH PMN'S LATEST FOCUS ON POTATO WEBCAST|
|COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY SURVEY SEEKS PARTICIPATION FROM ALL US GROWERS|
For Email Newsletters you can trust
CROP TRANSITION – A RETAIL OPPORTUNITY IN DISGUISE
The annual transition from shipping storage product to new crop is an opportunity to build and strengthen relationships with your retail customers. The key is to recognize the “gives” and “takes” of the situation, strategically consider the optimal outcomes, and then put a plan into place to make the most of the opportunity that crop transition creates.
Except for those rare years when the new crop brings little or no change, the annual transition can be described in its simplest terms as being one of two situations: going from long supply and low prices to better quality and more typical prices, or going from a period of short supply and high prices to a new crop bringing more normal supply and lower prices. As we begin our harvest in 2011, we are looking at the latter situation and the consequences – and retail opportunities – it brings with it.
What the USPB heard was that quality is the foremost concern for many of the retailers. Retailers had differing point-of-views (POVs), however, which influenced their strategy toward transition. The USPB saw these POVs falling into three distinct areas:
When talking pricing, it was a relatively greater focus for some retailers than others. A select group of retailers focused on product quality – period – and priced accordingly with little regard for their competition. (Admittedly, these retailers tended to enjoy a dominant share in their market, bringing up the interesting thought their obsessive focus on quality may have something to do with their dominant market share). Many of the retailers took a quality-first approach to crop transition, but stayed mindful of their competitors’ pricing, indicating they were sometimes forced into compressing their margins when another chain was clearing out lower-quality product at aggressive prices. Finally, a few retailers –and these were the ones you would have expected – brought a price-forward mindset to the annual transition and looked for their lowest price options in every situation.
While discussing pricing, many retailers stated their desire to keep prices consistent during crop transition and not whiplash their shoppers in either direction, with the goal of building shopper trust with consistency. Several of these same chains talked about challenging their suppliers to help smooth out the “peaks and valleys” that crop transition brings. Some of the more thoughtful retailers – not surprisingly, often those same retailers who owned a dominant market share – talked about “spending a lot of time” plotting their strategy for the annual transition and mentioned they didn’t want to ignore the impact of transition on the “fringe” items either.
Several retailers candidly brought up the “trust issue” they are conscious of with their suppliers, and pushed for the industry to provide greater transparency regarding availability, quality and pricing during crop transition. But to their credit, they also recognized this desire for transparency ran in both directions, and agreed they could also be more explicit in their own plans and approach for transition. They urged suppliers to “sit on the same side of the table” as the retailer, and focus first and foremost on how best to serve shoppers.
What the USPB clearly heard in all conversations with retailers was that keeping the lines of communication open is vital. All chains sought robust communication from the industry in general, and their suppliers in particular, addressing the timing for transition to new crop, the projected quality and pricing of the crop, as well as how quality and size of the storage product was holding up. While a few of the retailers felt they were routinely getting the information they needed…most felt they had to ask for this from their suppliers, or even go searching for it.
Once a Year Opportunity
Go to the training section of the USPB’s Resource Center for the current schedule of “Training Tuesday” topics, and check out the recordings of past presentations while you’re there. And be on the lookout for your invitation to register for upcoming webinars – they’re usually sent out around three weeks before the day of the event. See you there!
If you are not receiving the invitation to register for upcoming webinars, and you’d like to be included in the invitation, please contact USPB Retail Marketing Consultant Don Ladhoff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
USPB GRILLING RECIPES HIT WIDE AUDIENCE
Two new USPB potato grilling recipes, Cookout Potatoes and Grilled Pesto Potato Salad, have recently run in nearly all of the dozen papers in the Sun Newspaper Group, courtesy of food writer Barbara Collier, a longtime USPB media contact who routinely expresses her love for both potatoes and USPB press kit mailings.
Total circulation to-date is nearly 100,000 in print.
NATIONAL CHIP PROCESSING TRIALS GAINS NEW MEMBER
Heading into Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12—July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012), all National Chip Processing Trials (NCPT) processor partners have re-committed to Year Two of the program.
The USPB is also pleased to announce an additional member has joined, Barrel O’ Fun.
Volume commitments have been received from the processors and annual contributions have been calculated. The USPB has sent invoices to all of processors for their FY12 contribution amounts. Payments will be made directly to the USPB where they will be made available for payment from the USPB to the program’s budget items.
USPB CHIP COMMITTEE ELECTS OFFICERS, REORGANIZES SUB-COMMITTEES
The United States Potato Board (USPB) Chip Committee re-elected Richard Pavelski, President of Heartland Farms, Inc. Hancock, WI, to serve as its Chairman during its 2011 Summer Meeting, June 22, 2011, in Grand Forks, ND. Jason Walther, CEO of Walther Farms in Three Rivers, MI, was elected to serve as Vice Chairman of the USPB Chip Committee.
Upon his re-election, Chairman Pavelski organized the USPB Chip Committee’s Steering and Research & Variety Selection sub committees. The following chip-stock growers were appointed to serve on the Steering Committee with Pavelski: Bill Walker, Gold Dust, Inc., Malin, OR; Jim McCormick, McCormick Farms, Inc., Bliss NY; Jimmy Harrell, George Wood Farms, Inc., Camden, NC; John Meyer, Joseph L. Meyer Sons, Inc., Cohocton, NY; Jason Walther, Walther Farms, Three Rivers, MI; Gregg Halverson, Black Gold, Grand Forks, ND and Jeremie Pavelski Heartland Farms, Inc., Hancock, WI.
The following chip industry researchers, growers and professionals were appointed to serve on the Research & Variety Selection Committee: David Parish, President and CEO of AIS Consulting, LLC, Allen, TX; Charlie Higgins, Heartland Farms, Inc., Hancock, WI; Don Halseth, PhD, Associate Professor, Cornell University Department of Horticulture, Ithaca, NY; Dave Douches, PhD, Program Director, Michigan State University Potato Breeding and Genetics Team, East Lansing, MI; Craig Yencho, PhD, Professor, North Carolina State University Department of Horticulture, Raleigh, NC; Robert Guenthner, President, Guenthner Potato Co., Antigo, WI; John Nordgaard, Black Gold, Grand Forks, ND; Karl Ritchie, Walther Farms, Three Rivers, MI; Amy Charkowski, PhD, Assistant Professor, Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin—Madison, Madison, WI; Jeff Thomas, Snyders-Lance, Inc., Charlotte, NC; Mike Bormann, Barrel O’ Fun Snack Food Co., Perham, MN; Jason Walther, Walther Farms, Three Rivers, MI; Milt Carter, CSS Farms, Inc., Watertown, SD; and Richard Pavelski, Heartland Farms, Inc., Hancock, WI. Asunta “Susie” Thompson, Associate Professor, Potato Breeding, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, and Lori Aljets, Kettle Foods, Salem, OR, were selected to serve as alternates on this committee.
Comprised of growers, chippers, manufacturers, the Snack Food Association (SFA) and the National Potato Council (NPC), the USPB Chip Committee provides significant input and direction on how to achieve the strategies for the chip-stock section of the USPB Long Range Plan. Several meetings are held each year, typically in conjunction with other industry meetings, to ensure the USPB provides the type of support chip growers and allied industry need.
This work is funded by growers, through the USPB, and processors and helps identify varieties for both growers and chippers to respond to the consumer and support the changing needs of this industry sector. The USPB Chip Committee also investigates viable, alternate uses for chipping potatoes to provide opportunities for growth. Issues for chips include Zebra Defect, junk food claims, obesity and acrylamide. These issues are identified and addressed through research, and worked on in concert with the SFA.
JAPAN EXTENDS SHIPPING WINDOW FOR US CHIPPING POTATOES TO INCLUDE JULY
On July 1, 2011, the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (MAFF) in Japan announced the window for shipping fresh potatoes from the US, destined for processing into potato chips, had been extended from February – June to now include July. This extension was granted based on a request from Japanese potato chip manufacturers and the US potato industry made in 2010. USDA/APHIS and FAS personnel in Japan and in Washington, DC, worked very hard to convince their counterparts at MAFF to grant this extension, as there is no phytosanitary reason for the limited window in the first place. US shippers and Japanese buyers were able to immediately take advantage of this extension as they had potatoes on the water in hopes it would come through. Japan is extremely short of chipping potatoes this year, and the processors need to receive as many from the US as they can.
VARIETY INFORMATION TRANSLATES INTO SALES IN MEXICO
The Ferbis retail chain in Mexico recently reported a 10 percent increase in sales of US fresh table-stock potatoes after they began displaying potato variety information provided by the USPB.
LOWER TARIFFS ASSIST IN INCREASING US FROZEN POTATO EXPORTS TO MEXICO
On July 8, 2011, the Federal Mexican Government published in the Official Gazette a 50% reduction in the retaliatory tariffs imposed on different US products by the Mexican Government. These tariffs were the result of the US Congress’ cancellation, in April 2009, of the trucking program that allowed Mexican trucks into US territory. Once a new agreement by both countries has been signed, the Mexican Government will reduce the tariffs on the mentioned products, including US frozen potatoes. Starting July 8, 2011, US frozen potato products will now have a 2.5% tariff. It has been agreed by both countries that once the first Mexican truck is allowed to go into US territory, the 50% remaining tariffs will be removed.
ON THE RADIO, ON THE INTERNET: THE “US POTATO UPDATE”!!
SYNGENTA MANNAPACK™ POTATO STORY VIDEO NOW ON YOUTUBE
The final Syngenta MannaPack™ Potato Story video is now posted on YouTube. Syngenta will be distributing it to industry partners and key media outlets, as well as posting it on the Syngenta YouTube, Facebook and Twitter accounts, @SyngentaSpuds (scheduled to retweet on @SyngentaUS).
Focus on Potato, a nonprofit publication of the Plant Management Network, announces the launch of "Powdery Scab of Potato" by Robert Davidson, Professor of Plant Pathology at Colorado State University. The webcast is open access through August
This presentation was developed to help consultants and growers identify powdery scab of potato and manage the disease using an integrated approach to control.
Key symptoms used to identify the various stages of the disease are described and contrasted with other similar problems. Details of the pathogen, host, disease cycle, and environmental factors affecting symptom development are also discussed.
Attention is also given to management options, including avoiding the disease, measuring the inoculum load in soil, making the appropriate cultivar selections based upon the field history, resistance of a given cultivar, inoculum levels, environment, and utilizing specific chemical control.
Understanding the full integration of several different strategies for the producer are key to managing this potentially devastating and hard to control disease.
Focus on Potato is a publication of the Plant Management Network, a nonprofit online publisher whose mission is to enhance the health, management, and production of agricultural and horticultural crops. It achieves this mission through its applied, science-based resources. PMN is jointly managed by the American Society of Agronomy, American Phytopathological Society, and Crop Science Society
COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY SURVEY SEEKS PARTICIPATION FROM ALL US GROWERS
Researchers from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University (CSU) are conducting a survey, “Specialty Potatoes as an Effective Delivery Mechanism for Bioactive Anthocyanins to Promote Energy Balance - An Integrated Approach”. CSU has asked for the USPB’s assistance as they seek participation from all US potato growers. Please find following the letter from CSU that includes the link to the survey:
With assistance from the United State Potato Board, you are being contacted and invited to participate in a web-based survey that is part of the multi-state, USDA-NIFA sponsored research project: “Specialty Potatoes as an Effective Delivery Mechanism for Bioactive Anthocyanins to Promote Energy Balance - An Integrated Approach.”
We invite All U.S. Potato Growers to participate in this study and thank you for taking time to respond to our survey. The survey will take approximately 5-7 minutes to complete and can be accessed by typing the following address into your web browser:
We believe that there are no known risks associated with your participation in this study. Your responses to the online survey questions imply consent to partake in the study. Further, your participation in this research is voluntary and you may withdraw your consent and stop contributing at any time without penalty.
Thank you again for assisting us with our research and outreach goals.
Dr. Jennifer Keeling Bond, Assistant Professor
©2011 United States Potato Board