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Irish retailers urged to support potato sector and avoid food waste

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has called on all retailers to recognise the work of potato farmers and to consider the economic sustainability of the Irish potato sector.

As Stella Meehan reports for Agriland, IFA potato chairman Thomas McKeown said that, in recent weeks, some retailers have raised the specifications on potatoes to “unattainable levels”. The association has said that this is hitting producer incomes and leading to high levels of food waste.

McKeown said: “With the collapse of the food-service sector due to Covid-19, there is no market for a rejected product, and it is ending up as animal feed. Retailers are misleading the consumer by offering what they deem to be the perfect potato. They are rejecting potatoes which are perfectly edible and contributing to the issue of food waste.

The chairman said retailers, unlike all businesses, have been fortunate to continue to trade during Covid-19. “They should act responsibly and show solidarity with their suppliers, rather than taking advantage and trying to profiteer in this unique market situation,” he said.

Thomas McKeown reminded retailers that they “must not use potatoes as a tool to drive footfall” in the run-up to Christmas.

Source: AgriLand. Full story here

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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