Europe’s blisteringly hot summer is forecast to result in the smallest potato crop in years, threatening further price rises for popular foods such as fries just as consumers contend with spiralling inflation, reports Gus Trompiz and Sybille De La Hamaide in this Reuters news story.
Potatoes, a staple for households whether bought fresh or as prepared items such as fries or crisps, are among summer crops to have suffered this year from record temperatures and Europe’s worst drought in 500 years.
Parched conditions in Germany, France, the Netherlands and Belgium – the northwestern belt that accounts for most European Union potato output – could push EU production to its lowest on record, below that seen in similarly drought-hit 2018, according to analysts World Potato Markets.
France may be hit hard. Yields there may be at least 20% below the 20-year average, according to French producer group UNPT, based on latest field surveys.
“It will cost more for the industry, more for the consumer, but the biggest cost will be for farmers,” said Christophe Vermeulen, chief executive of Belgian industry group Belgapom, estimating the country’s crop could fall by as much as 30%.
Source: Reuters. Read the full story here
Photo: A cook sprinkles salt on fries at a cafe in the Frietmuseum in Bruges September 27, 2011. Credit Reuters/Thierry Roge