New Zealand, Australia, Processing, fries, chips

Tasmanian potato growers start ditching spuds after stalemate on price negotiations with Simplot

Potato processor Simplot Australia has refused to budge on its second price offer to Tasmanian farmers for their potato crop this season, according to a report by Fiona Breen and Tony Briscoe for ABC Rural news.

Farmers met on Wednesday night to discuss the impasse with the company over what they say is an effort to be paid a fair price for the product they grow. Farmers say the extra $105 a tonne the company put forward three weeks ago is still not enough to cover the cost of growing their crop this season, estimated to be about $20,000 a hectare.

In a statement, Simplot said it collectively considered every cost its growers incurred. “The offer we have put on the table has accounted for all these costs, including de-risking the growers’ exposure within a volatile fertiliser market. This record new pricing agreement will not only cover all these costs but will also improve our growers’ profit margin per hectare.”

Simplot says its take out of Wednesday night’s meeting was that many growers supported the deal and that Simplot should now proceed to engage growers on volume commitments for the season.

Source: ABC Rural. Read the full story here
Photo: Frozen chips processed by Simplot and McCain in north-west Tasmania. Credit ABC Rural | Laurissa Smith.

Lukie Pieterse, Editor & Publisher

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