According to the Executive Director for Potatoes New Brunswick Matt Hemphill, this summer’s weather has created the optimal growing conditions for potatoes. He says that although the crop went in the ground two weeks earlier than last year, he is cautiously optimistic.
Hemphill is also happy with the reopening of restaurants and sports events, and processors have told him demand for product is currently up. 919thebend.ca quoted him as saying: “During the pandemic, it was a disaster, we couldn’t predict anything for food services. What we are being told by the processors is demand is up. Hockey rinks and basketball courts are starting to fill up again so the demand is there. If mother nature cooperates, and supply and demand is in balance, it is business as usual. What we don’t want to see is another variant of COVID-19 come through and we will start to see restaurants and sporting events start to close down and we are sitting on a glut of potatoes.”
Hemphill says that is the same challenge they had in the previous year, when they had to donate a lot of potatoes to food banks, while other goods were made into potato flakes and the remainder was turned into cattle feed, due to the pandemic closures.