The potato industry in Australia is now in a state of ‘high alert’ for any potential French fries dumping activity from the EU, highlighting its chief concerns as price plummeting and farmer welfare after a tough season.
The alert was raised after the European Union (EU) recently passed an EUR650mn (US$741.1/A$1.1.mn) COVID-19 government assistance scheme that would enable EU firms to export their processed potatoes cheaply Down Under, where before it had never been a common avenue.
“In normal market situations, exporting potatoes from the EU to Australia is a very expensive process and thus a rather uncommon option, but this million-dollar compensation scheme would make it much more cost-effective for EU traders to send their potatoes here,” Tyson Cattle, Australian vegetable and potato industry body AUSVEG’s National Public Affairs Manager and National Farmers Federation Horticulture Council Executive Officer told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“Our main concern here is that this influx or dumping of foreign processed potatoes here would lead to a severe price drop in the local market due to having a sudden excess. This would negatively impact not only potato processors like McCain and Simplot who initially brought this to our attention, but also potato growers all throughout the country.”