Potato Council Report September 2021
|Rooster box (New Season)||€520||€550||€535|
|Rooster 10 kg (New Season)||€5.50||€6.50||€6|
|New Season Queens 10 kg bag||€5.50||€6.50||€6|
|New Season Kerr Pinks 10 kg bag||€6||€7||€6.50|
As schools return and the holiday season draws to a close this week, markets are set to improve and stabilise. More growers are burning off crops this week and some liftings of maincrop Rooster continue this week, however many growers are reporting that yields are low in the early crops. The Queens markets has stabilised with sales reported as ‘steady’. Liftings of new season Kerr Pinks have also commenced. Yields are reported to be quite low on the early liftings due to the cold wet spring.
In the U.K. there are reports that the seed sector is very concerned that growers may be tempted to import “ware” from Holland which would have a phytosanitary certificate and use the small grades for seed.
Across Europe the impact of the earlier exceptionally high rainfall (up to 200mm fell in parts of these areas), is beginning to become apparent. Taking Holland, Germany and Belgium together, some 20,000ha are thought to have been affected to some degree. A potentially strong global export trade in processed product is being restricted by a lack of containers and port congestion.
Activity since last Council
- A National Potato Committee meeting was held on the 8th of July. The main agenda items were markets, diquat, seed potato and potato promotions.
- An early growers meeting was held on Simon Donoghues yard in Drinagh at the beginning of the Queens season. Teagasc also attended the meeting.
- A regional meeting of Dublin, Meath and Louth growers was held on Thomas McKeown’s yard on the 16th of August. Teagasc and Whelehans attended the meeting to discuss desiccation strategies.
- A cross sectoral horticultural meeting with Minister Heydon took place on August 31st. Issues raised for the potato industry included the emergency of use Diquat and the issue around Global Gap certification.
- IFA put forward an official request for the emergency use of Diquat for the season in June and commenced a robust lobbying campaign.
- An IFA Potato delegation met with Minister Charlie McConalogue on the 30th of July to discuss the emergency approval of Diquat.
- A stakeholder meeting was held on the 9th of July on the Potato Promotions. 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.
- A number of growers supplying the catering and fresh chip sectors were seriously affected by the lack of demand due to the impact of the pandemic and have had to send potatoes for cattle feed. IFA continues to engage with DAFM on this.
- 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.
- The IFA potato department fed into the IFA submission on the CAP Strategic plan 2023 – 2027.
- The IFA potato department fed into the IFA submission on the Draft Agri Food Strategy.
- IFA completed a submission on the re-opening of the pilot work permit scheme for the horticultural sector. The submission can be found on https://www.ifa.ie/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/IFA-Submission-Opening-of-Work-Permit-Pilot-Programme-July-2021.pdf .
- 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.
- A Copa Potato working party meeting and CDG will take place on September 8th and 9th, IFA will attend.
- 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.
- IFA will continue with the campaign for the emergency approval of Diquat for the 2021 season.
- The launch of the collaborative potato chipping project will take place on September 8th in Meadowfresh packing facility in Tallow.
- National Potato Day will take place on October 1st this year. IFA will take part in planned activities to mark the event.