Tasmanian supermarkets have confirmed they will not stock imported potatoes, as they have thrown their support behind the state's potato producers. A conditional import licence was approved in June for South Australian company Mitolo Group to import fresh potatoes into Tasmania. However, the products will not end up on supermarket shelves.
Last Monday, Coles, Woolworths, and Island Fresh, confirmed they would not stock the imported SA potatoes in Tasmania. A Coles spokesperson said the chain had no plans to change suppliers in light of the import approval: "All fresh potatoes sold in Tasmanian Coles supermarkets are grown in Tasmania and supplied by three key suppliers. We are committed to supporting local farmers and have no plans to change this. Coles purchases around $400 million worth of food from Tasmanian farmers and producers every year."
Those purchases include $70 million worth of fresh fruit and vegetables, more than $180 million worth of meat and seafood, along with $6.5 million in cheese produced in Burnie and from King Island Dairy and $74 million worth of frozen vegetables from Simplot, which supplies all Coles brand frozen vegetables.