The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in Ireland, Senator Pippa Hackett, has welcomed a new initiative which is aimed at helping Irish potato growers get their produce into Irish chip shops.
As Mary Birmingham writes in this news story for Thecork.ie, Ireland imports 80,000 tonnes, or €45 million worth, of potatoes per annum, with 64,000 (€33 million) tonnes coming from the UK (source: CSO 2019). The majority of these fresh potato imports are used by chip shop owners.
Opening a new distribution centre as well as visiting a new purpose built storage facility the Minister said: “Growing chipping potatoes is a specialist operation, and the market for them is valued at approximately €20 million per year. I think the Irish consumer, given the choice, will really appreciate businesses that support local growers. This is a welcome development which will shorten the supply chain and bring plant bio security benefits, making it a significant step forward for the sector.”
Lorcan Bourke, Fresh Produce and Potato Manager, Bord Bia said: “Some chip shop owners have already successfully put a local supply chain relationship in place, demonstrating that Irish growers can grow chipping potatoes of excellent quality. Many of the chip shop owners working with locally grown potatoes saw local supply as a great advantage in their communications with customers.”
Source: Thecork.ie. Read the full story here
Photo: Pippa Hackett (middle) | Alison Miles/OSM photo