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Dutch potato association explores solutions for afflicted processing industry

The “Nederlandse Aardappel Organisatie” (NAO) expressed their support for their members who are dealing with unforeseen challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

On their website NAO acknowledges there are companies that cannot cope with the work, for example in the table potato market, while in the catering market, demand has completely disappeared and companies are therefore partly stalling. Potato Business reports

Astonishment and uncertainty are the predominant feelings among members. We do what we can regarding communication with the government about the situation and try to ensure that the damage is minimal,” a statement from the Dutch Potato Organization reads.

As far as the potato market is concerned, a large stock of chip potatoes threatens to remain unsold, due to the drop in demand, particularly from the chip industry, but also from other companies.

“This was discussed with the Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality together with the Arable Agriculture BO and other chain partners. Solutions are being sought to physically remove the stock before the new season starts, as well as whether a government subsidy can be obtained.”

Potato growers expect a financial loss of EUR160m to EUR200m in the coming months, due to the sudden stockpiling of approximately one million tons of chipping potatoes. This causes serious financial problems for growers who specialize in long-term potato storage.

The foodservice industry (national and international) represents approximately 80% of the total sales of the potato processing industry. As much as 90% of the demand has suddenly disappeared in the past two weeks due to the closure of out-of-home foodservice locations.

Source: Potato Business. Original report here

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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