Tasmanian supermarkets have thrown support behind the state’s potato producers, confirming they will not stock imported potatoes, according to a report by Caitlin Jarvis published by The Examiner in Australia.
Caitlin reports that a conditional import license was approved in June for South Australian company Mitolo Group to import fresh potatoes into Tasmania. However, the products will not end up on supermarket shelves.
Coles, Woolworths, and Island Fresh, which operates the IGA chain of independent supermarkets, on Monday confirmed they would not stock the imported SA potatoes in Tasmania.
A Coles spokesperson said the chain had no plans to change suppliers in light of the import approval. “All fresh potatoes sold in Tasmanian Coles supermarkets are grown in Tasmania and supplied by three key suppliers. We are committed to supporting local farmers and have no plans to change this,” the spokesperson said.
“Coles purchases around $400 million worth of food from Tasmanian farmers and producers every year.”
Farmers were stunned last week after the conditional approval was discovered during question time in Parliament. Labor Primary Industries spokesman Shane Broad asked the question of Primary Industries Minister Guy Barnett. The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers vegetable council and potato producers have requested more information on conditional approval.