Potato prices could rise by 30%, one of Northern Ireland’s top suppliers has warned. An unprecedented hike in costs — including fertiliser prices, which have almost doubled in a year — looks set to impact on consumers, according to a report by Belfast Telegraph.
Lewis Cunningham, managing director of Wilson’s Country, said all sectors of the agri food industry are facing major increases in their cost base — and even the humble spud is affected.
“Significant hikes across all energy, fuel, growing inputs such as sprays and fertilisers, including land and labour costs, are now in train,” he said. “Some of these factors have been impacting all manufacturing businesses over recent months including our packing, distribution and storage operations. With the continued increases coming at us in 2022, unfortunately, we have no option but to pass these increases down the line to our customers.”
“As many potato growers rely heavily on annual rental agreements, buying up stocks of fertiliser last autumn wasn’t an option for them as much of the land wasn’t secured at that stage. Last year it was costing approximately £200-£250 per acre to fertilise a potato crop, depending on different soil analysis: this year we could be looking at somewhere in the region of £500/ac.”
Source: Belfast Telegraph. Full story here
Photo: Wilson’s Country agronomist Stuart Meredith and managing director Lewis Cunningham assessing a sodden crop of Piper seed potatoes near Moira