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Opinion from New Zealand: ‘Let’s support our local potato industry’

Maybe it’s my DNA, my Irish roots, but I love potatoes. Agria, Red Rascals, Ilam Hardy…spuds rock. Christmas wouldn’t be complete without Oamaru Jersey Bennies. Our one billion dollar potato industry is a relatively intimate one, employing around five thousand people, in growing and processing. With year round harvesting, it’s a stable employer. And the industry deserves a fair go.

So said New Zealander Mike Yardley on the Mike Hosking breakfast show this morning.

Yardley went on to say: “Enter the foreign fries, the frozen spuds to our shops, from Belguim and the Netherlands. Huge surplus inventories have spilled on to our shores, largely due to Covid-induced supply chain disruption. Global potato prices have collapsed and there’s a mountain of product in European cool stores.”

But as you will have seen in the news, Yardley said, the allegation is that these Euro frozen potato products are being dumped here. And of course, being European, these spuds enjoy EU subsidies. A Dutch grower for example gets a 50 Euro subsidy per tonne.

“But the material damage to our own homegrown industry from this dumping could be swift and severe, if the local industry is forced to compete on price.”

Source: Read the full report and listen to the audio on NewstalkZB

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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