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.
New Zealand, Australia
The hot chip shortage has now hit close to home [in Australia], with the internet divided over a recent photo of an empty Coles fridge, writes Joanne Tran in a news story published by The Daily Telegraph. In a now-viral Reddit post, a user shared a snap of the frozen chips section at their local Coles, and shockingly, it was completely empty.
Australian supermarket giant Coles has introduced a two-item limit on frozen chips after flooding across the eastern coast impacted the supply of potatoes, according to a report by 1News. A Coles spokesperson told Nine that the limit, beginning on December 15, will likely be lifted within months. “Poor weather in the eastern states has affected supply of some frozen potato products across the industry,” they said.
‘Potatoes aren’t particularly good swimmers’: Potatoes NZ CEO warns excess wet weather may cause potato shortage
Wild weather could be taking a toll on the humble spud. The prolonged spell of wet weather has sparked concern New Zealand could be in danger of a potato shortage. Potatoes New Zealand chief executive Chris Claridge told NewstalkZB in a live interview that “potatoes aren’t particularly good swimmers and don’t like being submerged in water for long periods.” Claridge said access to the fields to harvest the crops is also hampered in the wet weather.
It might not be so easy to get your hands on some delicious hot chips [fries] this summer or when you do, be prepared to pay a higher price than usual. As Chantelle Francis reports for News.com.au, processed potatoes used for potato chips, crisps and other potato products are in tight supply, the industry warns.
It has been three years in the making, but now Timaru’s McCain plant is making chips with a woodchip boiler system instead of coal, reducing waste by 20% and making it a leader in the industry. McCain’s Timaru plant was recognised as a Climate Action Leader by the Sustainable Business Network, a social enterprise to help New Zealand businesses move into more sustainable models.
The newly-formed peak potato industry body in Australia is calling on growers and other stakeholders across the sector to become a member to help promote and grow as a united body. Potatoes Australia Ltd. Executive Officer Liz Mann says the organisation, which held its inaugural Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Ballarat this year, was primarily set up to be the voice of the potato industry value chain. “Membership is open to growers and other people in the supply chain,” Ms Mann said.
Hot chip crisis: Spud King Tony Galati’s plan to save Western Australia from a national potato shortage
Australia is facing a potato shortage after wild east coast weather ravaged farms and delayed growers’ sowing crops — which means hot chippies are becoming scarce — but don’t worry, there’s a man with a plan, as Rebecca Le May and Elisia Seeber report for PerthNow. The Spudshed founder Tony Galati revealed to The West Australian he has brought forward a long-standing plan to add a frozen chip and potato crisp processing arm to his ever-expanding horticulture and retail empire.
Multimillion dollar programme in New Zealand aims to provide growers with a nitrogen management tool
Sustainable Vegetable Systems (SVS) is a $7.5 million dollar multi-tiered research programme, funded by New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries, led and co-funded by Potatoes New Zealand in collaboration with the Vegetable Research & Innovation Board and Horticulture NZ. SVS provides the data and subsequent modelling of vegetable nutrient uptake and nitrogen leaching. Potatoes New Zealand recently uploaded three videos on its YouTube channel to explain the SVS programme goals and activities.
The so-called Sustainable Vegetable Systems Programme (SVS) in New Zealand is in its third year and is making great progress towards improving tools and guidelines for the country’s potato and vegetable sectors’ nitrogen management. Chris Claridge, CEO of Potatoes NZ says the organization is excited to enable a more sustainable approach to vegetable growing with positive impacts on environmental, economic and social outcomes.
Australian potato supplier, the Pye Group officially opened the largest potato packing facility of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere on Tuesday. Operating under one roof, the $45million 15,000 sqm warehouse has been equipped with the finest quality world best machinery which has doubled its production capacity (from 22 tonne an hour to 45 tonne an hour).
It’s “very likely” Australia will face a potato shortage in coming months, the vice-president of horticulture at the Victorian Farmers’ Federation has warned. Kathryn Myers from the Victorian Farmers’ Federation says recent wet weather means farmers haven’t been able to plant potato crops. “It’s just not been possible to get tractors on the ground to work up our paddocks to put potatoes in,” she told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell in an interview.
Australian grocer Woolworths Group said heavy rain may keep squeezing supply of farm-based staples, including potato chips, as soaring shelf prices contributed to a decline in first-quarter food sales, according to a report by European Supermarket Magazine.
Potato supply in Tasmania impacted by wet harvesting conditions, growers worried about planting season
Supplies of fresh potatoes in Tasmania’s supermarkets are low, with a major grower forced to temporarily halt harvesting as weather conditions make it too wet to get tractors onto paddocks. Meanwhile, Tasmania’s potato chip processors in the state’s north and their growers are feeling nervous about the continuing wet conditions. Farmers growing for big companies Simplot and McCain have about two weeks left to plant if they want good harvests next year.
Supermarkets have been hit by an unexpected product shortage as a result of the ongoing weather and supply chain issues in Australia, as Rebekah Scanlan reports for News.com.au. Farmers have been warning of a national potato shortage for months after huge amounts of crops were “wiped out” by wild weather earlier in the year.
Australian biomaterials company Great Wrap has created a compostable bioplastic alternative to clingfilm that is made from waste potatoes. Great Wrap film consists of starch extracted from potato peels mixed with other ingredients including used cooking oil and a starchy root vegetable called cassava. The Great Wrap clingfilm can be composted in landfills or home composting systems, where it will break down within 180 days.
This fact sheet on blackleg in potatoes was compiled by Hort Innovation and RM Consulting Group (RMCG) in Australia, and published online by AUSVEG. It provides information on management strategies of blackleg, the bacteria which commonly cause the disease, and what growers can do to prevent and manage it.
Australia’s potato industry has welcomed to two key commitments realised under the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), which are set to improve access to the Thai market. Thailand has now implemented zero tariffs and removed tariff rate quotas that limited the volume of Australian seed and processing potatoes that could access the lower TAFTA tariff.
Potato farmers in the Ballarat region of Australia are demanding a pay rise for their produce, claiming McCain Foods does not pay a fair price. Last season McCain Foods paid growers an average of 33 cents per kilo of potatoes delivered to the local processing plant, a figure that farmers said was well below the rising cost of production. The local growers’ association had approached the processor on Monday asking for 59 cents per kilo, a 78 per cent price increase.
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 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. Simplot said it collectively considered every cost its growers incurred.
Farmers struggling to make ends meet: Simplot and Tasmanian spud farmers in standoff over rising prices
Farmers have rejected a second price offer made by food manufacturer Simplot for their potato crop this season. They say the extra $105 a tonne the company has put forward is still not enough to cover the cost of growing their crop this season, which is around $20,000 a hectare. As Laurissa Smith and Fiona Breen report for ABC Rural, Sassafras farmer and contractor Scott Rockliff said inputs including fuel and fertiliser were spiralling. Farmers said they were thinking about other options, whether it be more sheep or cattle or other crops.
Figuring out how to turn potato waste into compostable cling wrap has helped Julia and Jordy Kay, founders and owners of the Great Wrap company, land $24 million in series A funding to take on the plastic industry. Mrs Kay, an architect, and Mr Kay, who makes natural wines, decided to tackle the plastic waste problem after noticing how much pallet wrap was generated in construction and winemaking.
A 4kg bag of humble potatoes is set to join iceberg lettuce in the $12 club at Australian supermarkets in coming weeks as farmers warn of a potential 30 per cent price rise. And with a price hike in potatoes comes a jump in the price of Australian’s beloved hot chips, with rises expected at restaurants, fish and chip shops, fast-food chains and pubs.
Robertson, the small New South Wales village that is home to film stars such as Miriam Margolyes and the movie Babe, has had its biggest win yet. The town’s Big Potato sculpture has officially been named Australia’s Sh*ttest Big Thing. The large icon was described by competition organisers as “looking like it’s been up for three days straight”.
A Dunedin author had an exciting start to her day when she learned a children’s book she wrote had been given to Prince William by New Zealand’s prime minister. Jacinda Ardern presented a copy of Emma Wood’s ‘Tulip and Doug: A Spud-Tacular Friendship Story’ to the Duke of Cambridge during a meeting at Kensington Palace in London early yesterday (NZ time).
Going digital: Trust Alliance NZ to showcase new international standard, data sharing technology at conference
Trust Alliance New Zealand (TANZ) will showcase a new digital tool at the Primary Industries New Zealand conference on 6/7 July in Auckland. The ‘digital compliance product passport’ is an international standard, data sharing technology where everyone across the sector is able to securely contribute, control, collate and protect their crucial farm data.
A $5.6 million project to eliminate CO2 emissions and reduce demand for heating fuel at McCain’s Timaru factory in New Zealand will soon use woodchips to make potato chips. As Yashas Srinivasa reports for Stuff.co.nz, the company is converting its boiler from coal to domestically sourced woodchips, which will help McCain reduce its carbon emissions by approximately 30,000 tonnes per year.