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Ireland: Potato growers receive less than one-fifth of the price consumers pay

One of the speakers on the National Potato Conference in Dublin was Irish Farmers Association President Joe Healy. He outlined how retailers are taking the lion’s share of the margin on potatoes, while farmers bear all of the risk.

Participants of the conference - organised by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) in association with Bord Bia and Teagasc - were told that pre-pack potatoes are retailing at up to €1,400 per tonne while growers receive less than one-fifth of that.

“Many potato growers are having to sell their crop for less than it costs to produce. That situation cannot be sustained; the price the farmer gets has to rise, just to cover storage costs alone. Retailers and packers have to wake up to that and act now if they want to have a potato industry in the future,” Joe Healy warned. reported how the IFA President has argued for stronger retail regulations and an efficient retail ombudsman in order to ensure farmers get a fairer share of the retail price. He said it is important that the recommendations of the Agricultural Markets Task Force are implemented to bring greater transparency and fairness to the food chain.

“Growers make an investment of €60 mln each year to cultivate Ireland’s 8,900 hectares of potato and ensure a top quality product is consistently available to packers, supermarkets, and the food service sector. In return, processors and retailers who rely on their product must give them a fair price and stop undermining the market with surplus imports.”

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