Covid impact on Northern Hemisphere chip industry threatens locally grown hot potato chips

The impact of Covid-19 on the chip industry in the Northern Hemisphere is putting locally grown and processed hot potato chips at the local snack bar under threat. Lockdowns all over Europe have resulted in an estimated 1.7 million ton surplus of raw potato material.

Potatoes NZ CEO Chris Claridge spoke about the consequences of Europeans eating less fries due to the lockdowns: "That means there's a big lump of frozen fries that's got to go somewhere. Our economy's working, they are sending it here, it is as simple as that."

Claridge is looking for Government action to protect New Zealand potato farmers from the influx of frozen fries grown and processed in Europe undercutting their locally grown equivalent. Already, packets of imported frozen fries from Belgium are being sold at nearly half the price of locally produced chipped spuds in New Zealand supermarkets. explains that New Zealand produces about 150,000 tons of frozen fries a year but Europe exports around 400,000 tons in one month.

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