Studies/Reports, Trade/Markets/Prices, Trends

South Africa; UK: Aspiring to alternative markets

Looking for ways of improving the UK potato supply chain, Nuffield scholar Rufus Pilgrim travelled to South Africa to draw comparisons between UK and international potato markets.  With a population which is set to double to two billion by 2050, Africa is a continent under pressure to maximise its production.  Therefore, when it comes to production, yield is king, according to Nuffield Scholar Rufus Pilgrim, who says the emphasis on taste, provenance and nutrition is limited, and this is reflected in how potatoes are sold in South Africa. He says: “About 50 per cent of all potatoes are sold through what they call ‘the informal market’ which is essentially wholesale trade. “When the grower leaves the farm with the potatoes, they have no idea how much they are going to get paid. It is akin to the UK about 20 or 30 years ago. Potatoes are sold through an agency system, which takes 5 per cent commission, and a Government organisation inspects and grades the potatoes which dictates the price.” More

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