Potatoes Reports

Potato Council Report October 2020

As wet weather conditions set in across the country, growers face additional challenges and liftings will be set back in some areas. Retail demand remains quite strong however the food service sector has experienced another blow as stricter lockdown measure are imposed for the entire country.

In the U.K. trade remains generally subdued. Packing Maris Piper seems to be the only material making any kind of traction. Liftings are reported to be continuing at pace with growers trying to get some complete in the next week. Clearance is 50 to 75% in the South and the Midlands with more growers starting to clear but, in the Fens, and Lincolnshire progress is only 20 to 30%. In Scotland, lifting of ware crops is “60%” complete.

Recent estimates the total production in the E.U. 27 is expected to be 54.8mt’s compared to 51.23mt’s last year and 56.38mt’s in 2017. Physical markets across Europe remain broadly unchanged with processors still only taking very light volumes of free buy.

Rooster box (New Season)€380€430€400
Rooster 10 kg (New Season)€4€5€4.50
New Season Queen 10kg bag€5€7€6
New Season Kerr Pinks€5.50€6.50€6

Activity since last Council

  • National Potato Day took place on Friday October 2nd. This year’s event was based online and involved social media activities based on cooking potato dishes and promoting the nutritional benefits of potatoes.
  • Following an extensive lobbying campaign, IFA successfully secured a derogation for the emergency use of Diquat.
  • The IFA planted acreage survey is almost complete. DAFM preliminary BPS area figures show potato area similar to 2019. Reports from growers indicate that yields appear to be average or just below average.
  • A number of growers supplying the catering and fresh chip sectors have continued to be seriously affected by the lack of demand due to the impact of the pandemic and have had to send potatoes for cattle feed. IFA continue to engage with DAFM on this.
  • The second activation of the new EU Potato Promotions Campaign is now underway. A number of influencers are onboard and they will showcase their cooking skill and the versatility of potato dishes to their millennial audiences. IFA has been involved in meetings of the Potato Promotion group to launch the new EU potato promotion campaign the website can be found on https://www.potato.ie/

EU/COPA developments

  • IFA, along with Copa.Cogeca, are continuing their lobbying in Brussels regarding the reapproval and authorisation of a number of vital PPP’s.
  • The Farm to Fork Strategy element of the European Green Deal is aiming to make food systems fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly. IFA have highlighted that there is nothing fair about targets in the Green Deal, which will increase the regulatory burden and undermine local tillage framers while continuing to allow access to non-EU feedstuffs produced to different standards.

Upcoming Activity/Events

  • 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.
  • Potato Promotions – The second activation of the potato promotions is now underway; more details are on https://www.potato.ie/.  Growers have received a letter to support this initiative. Growers contribute 20% of the funding but this will be matched by 80% co-funding from the EU.

There will be further interaction with DAFM regarding the inclusion of haulm toppers and potato storage equipment under TAMS.

ChairmanThomas McKeown
ExecutivePatrick Farrell

Related Articles