Potato Council Report November 2021
|Rooster box (New Season)||€380||€450||€400|
|Rooster 10 kg (New Season)||€4||€5||€4.50|
|Queens 10 kg bag||€5||€6||€5.5|
|New Season Kerr Pinks||€5||€6||€5.50|
Consumption has improved slightly as colder weather sets in. Demand for the food service sector remains buoyant.
Liftings continued where crop remains in the ground over the last week. Many growers are now finished. Input costs for the upcoming season remain a main concern for growers at present, fertiliser costs in particular are very uncertain. Excellent quality of native varieties Kerr Pinks and Golden wonders have been reported to date however, yields appear to be back on last year.
Across Europe, liftings are almost complete and the availability of supplies direct from field has almost come to an end. With crops in store, growers are now pushing for higher prices. There are quality issues with the crop including growth cracks but to date there have been very few rejections.
In terms of exports, there is good volume movement to the Canaries again this week. Prices are described as firm and holding and there has been the odd increase for frying varieties.
In the U. K, M. Piper prices remain firm with most crop in store. Again, growers are pushing for higher prices as buyers are having difficulty sourcing best quality samples out of store.
Activity since last Council
- A National Potato Committee meeting was held on the 7th of October. The main agenda items were markets, seed potato and potato promotions.
- National Potato Day took place on Friday the 1st of October. A number of growers held events to mark the event in line with covid restrictions. A press release was issued to coincide with the day.
- IFA met with the Potato Federation on Tuesday the 2nd of November virtually. The issue of seed potato and MRL levels were discussed at length.
- The second activation of the European potato promotions took place last month. All activities were focused at online content.
- The emergency use of diquat was approved following a robust lobby campaign and IFA issued a letter to all growers on the detail of the derogation.
- IFA along with Teagasc met with DAFM on the 28th of September on desiccation strategies moving forward. A further meeting will take place in January.
- The launch of the collaborative potato chipping project took place on the 22nd of September. Minister Pippa Hackett was in attendance and visited Buttimer’s farm and Meadowfresh facility as part of the launch.
- IFA continue to attend all Potato Promotions stakeholder meetings. IFA fed into proposed activities. The promotion is currently underway and it has been very successful to date. Growers are reminded to support the promotion if they have not already done so, recent letters and standing order forms were posted to growers.
- IFA continues to engage with all retailers to discuss the upcoming season and convey growers increased input costs and issues around excessive tare levels.
- There are ongoing discussions with Lidl and Bord Bia in relation to Global Gap quality assurance.
- IFA attended a Copa Potato working party meeting and CDG on September 8th and 9th.
- The E.U. has declined a request for “equivalence” regarding the export of seed from the U.K to Europe. The decision has been challenged and an application for “substantial equivalence” is now being pursued. IFA continues to lobby on this matter.
- IFA have requested a meeting with Mairead McGuinness and other MEPs on the issue of seed potato for the upcoming season.
- IFA continues to engage with retailers on increased input costs and setting up meetings with retailer buyers ahead of the Christmas period.
- IFA will continue lobbying for the potato seed sector to be included in the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) fund announced by the EU.
- IFA will continue to demand that packers and retailers pay sustainable potato farm gate prices.
- IFA will continue to contact growers to ensure they are aware of the costs of production and engage in stocks surveys
- There will be further interaction with DAFM regarding potato storage equipment under TAMS and to invest in the seed potato sector.
- The 2021 European Potato Promotion is now underway and performing very well. Growers have received a letter to support this initiative and the potato committee are continuing to encourage growers to support the campaign.