The management team at Mash Direct has indicated that the real value of inflation within the food sector is well above that reflected in current government figures. Jack Hamilton, the CEO of the County Down-based vegetable processing business, confirmed that rising energy costs are a particular challenge for the company.
Hamilton: “And we are not alone in this regard. [The] government must act to support the agri-food sector. And the closer to the primary producer that an aid package can be given, the greater the impact it will have. Only in this way can government hope to reduce the inflationary pressures that are so evident at the present time.”
Despite this, Hamilton believes that potato producers can look forward to a very sustainable future: “This is because of the significant food miles associated with the likes of pasta and rice. Potatoes are locally grown. They can also be produced at prices that can be accurately factored into peoples’ budgets in a very consistent manner. As a consequence, they are pretty much inflation-proof.”