GFM Network News


Plant-based near-chicken on KFC’s Canadian menu to stay

Maple Leaf's Lightlife arm to make 'Plant-Based KFC' sandwich

Reading Time: 2 minutes Updated, Aug. 18: Consumers’ response to a single-day test of plant-based near-chicken menu items in Mississauga last year has led KFC Canada to add the product, full time, to its menu nationwide. The Canadian arm of the Yum Brands-owned chicken chain announced Wednesday its ‘Plant-Based KFC’ sandwiches will be available permanently at its stores across […] Read more

Plummeting french fry sales have potato growers re-evaluating

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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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


McCain’s one-year multi-species blend contains 13 species, including spring oats, balansa clover, Austrian winter peas and sunflower.

2 covers — 25 species

P.E.I. potato growers are exploring diverse approaches to solve their low organic matter levels with cover crops

Reading Time: 6 minutes Soil organic matter has become a popular topic of discussion in the past year. In Ontario, a report from late 2016 indicated soil organic matter (SOM) levels in many parts of the province are at 15-year lows, coinciding with increasing interest in the use of cover crops, reduced- or no-till management and longer rotations in […] Read more

Isaiah Swidersky says resistant varieties are one organic defence against late blight, but these varieties aren’t always the ones in highest consumer demand.

Growing potatoes without chemicals

Organic potato production on a commercial scale is a challenge, but one Ontario grower is meeting it

Reading Time: 4 minutes Isaiah Swidersky offers a careful answer when asked if organic potato production is a risk worth taking. “To some degree it is, but there’s a reason I haven’t expanded it to 200 or 300 acres,” Swidersky says. “It’s a challenge to grow organic potatoes. But I’m optimistic. It’s a good challenge.” Swidersky’s operation, Rose Mountain […] Read more


Simplot to supersize Portage la Prairie fry plant

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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