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Fresh potato supplies still strong in Queensland to meet consumers' hot chip demand

With reported potato shortages affecting frozen chip suppliers around Australia, consumers can still rely on steady supplies of fresh potatoes from local fruit and veg shops to get their fix of hot chips, which are in good supply and high demand according to not-for-profit marketing and advocacy program, 'A Better Choice!'.

It says frozen chip manufacturers operating in Victoria and Tasmania have recently been impacted by a perfect storm of issues affecting their growers' crop yields and their supply chain, including wet weather and increased fuel, transport, fertilizer and labour costs. But wholesalers at the Brisbane Markets are still able to confidently supply retailers with a steady supply of a variety of potatoes and we encourage consumers to make their own hot chips from nutrient-rich, fresh potatoes, "with a bit of hand-crafted love".

Brismark runs the "A Better Choice!" program in Queensland, which supports over 500 independent retailers and wholesalers across the country. One of the retailers is George Macaron of Lawnton Country Markets, who says the quality is better than ever at the moment and it has created an increase in demand.

“We sell out daily and must get more in, more frequently, which means they are also fresher for customers – it’s better quality,” Mr Macaron said.

MegaFresh Browns Plains, A better choice! independent local fruit and veg store owner, Adam Jeff, says with the current demand, they have a wide variety of potatoes available.

“Our shelves are stocked, and the quality is excellent. We are not experiencing any supply issues from the Markets at all,” Mr Jeff said.

Tim O’Toole, Manager of O’Toole Produce who is a Potato Wholesaler operating from the Brisbane Markets, said there is no shortage of brushed potatoes coming into the Markets that independent fruit and veg retailers are hand-selected daily for their customers.

“Brushed potatoes right now are excellent quality and hand-cut chips prove value for money and are more readily available than their frozen counterparts. They also have a high nutrient content as they are grown in predominantly good volcanic soil,” Mr O'Toole said. “Russet, Yukon Gold, Red Bliss and Sweet Potatoes are also great for hand-cut chips.”

One of O’Toole’s potato growers is Durkin Produce in Victoria and Director, Mike Durkin says that his fresh market yields are down slightly, but supply is still stable as market prices have lifted from last year, due to supply and demand.

“Despite the rising costs, we have still been able to maintain a quality supply of brushed potatoes to the Brisbane Markets," he said. "So if you are looking for plenty of potatoes for your hot chips, go to your local fruit and veg shop.”

Source: A Better Choice! media release

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