Consumers, New Zealand, Australia, Processing, fries, chips

What’s causing Australia’s frozen chip shortage and how long will it last?

An Australia-wide shortage has led some cafés and restaurants to temporarily substitute frozen potato chips [fries] with sweet potato, or take it off the menu altogether, while one major supermarket has introduced limits on the number of bags customers can buy, as Amy Hall reports for SBS News.

“The prolonged wet weather made it too difficult to manage the crops that were in the ground, made it difficult to harvest early crops, and it meant there were really quite significant delays in getting the new crops planted, particularly in the [NSW] Riverina, and in the Central Highlands here in Victoria, and in Tasmania,” potato grower and Victorian Farmers Federation vice president Katherine Myers told SBS News.

Ms Myers said the drought in Europe last summer has impacted supply levels, as well. AUSVEG – the peak body for the Australian vegetable and potato industries – said a surge in demand for frozen potato products was also contributing to the shortage.

Ms Myers said she expected the shortage of frozen chips to continue through the year.

Source: SBS News. Read the full story here
Photo: An empty frozen chips shelf at Woolworths Metro in Coogee, Sydney, on Monday afternoon. Credit SBS News
Related video: Supermarket freezers all but empty across Australia due to a potato shortage | 7NEWS
Related video: Potato shortage ‘incredibly challenging’ for farmers and consumers | ABC News

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