In the face of rising living costs, Irish consumers are increasingly turning to potatoes as a staple food, driving strong retail demand and home consumption, according to the weekly potato market report issued by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA).
However, this surge in demand is met with a challenging supply scenario. Unprecedented rainfall and flooding have made this year’s harvest one of the most difficult on record, with growers struggling to salvage their crops from waterlogged fields.
Good progress has been made in Donegal where less rainfall has been experienced. Potatoes dug into stores are very tight and market prices are responding accordingly. Peeling potatoes are reported in the region of €500/tonne.
The IFA reports that lifting progress on the European continent has been described as ‘minimal’ again this week and there is still plenty left in the ground. Ex farm prices have at last started to improve but mainly for processing.
In Scotland, lifting was possible most days last week and a lot of the larger growers are well through crops. Further South, progress has been extremely limited although there has been more action in the Midlands and Yorkshire.
As a response to these challenges, an increasing number of stores with signs of breakdown are being emptied for peeling and French fry processing as growers attempt to stem losses.
Source: Irish Farmers Association (IFA)