Thursday, April 25, 2024

Potato industry shows resilience

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The New Zealand potato industry remains a growing sector despite enduring a challenging year.
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The New Zealand potato industry remains a growing sector despite enduring a challenging year.

Ahead of the industry’s annual forums, Potatoes NZ (PNZ) chief executive Chris Claridge reports the total value of the industry sits at $1.16 billion, amidst a year of crises and disappointment.

This represents a 58% growth rate since industry targets were set in 2013.

“This result shows the immense value of our processing sector, with 55% of our locally-grown potatoes producing fries and another 12% producing crisps,” Claridge said.

“A strong domestic market for NZ-processed potatoes underpins our industry and maintains our growers’ resilience.”

Claridge says the findings in the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) tariff report into European Dumping are very disappointing for growers and the PNZ board.

MBIE found the confirmed dumping of imported potato fries into the NZ market as not of material threat to the local industry.

Claridge says this signals to NZ importers and EU exporters that the NZ government is leaving the gate open.

“The obvious risk here is a real material threat to our domestic potato processing market and our growers,” he said.

PNZ is holding the 2021 NZ Potato industry forums this month, with the theme of Sustainable Growth.

The forums focus on industry value growth and will test the appetite of industry for further pursuit of domestic market security.

In addition, all aspects of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental impacts – will be covered in the day-long forums.

Keynote speaker Bernard Hickey will provide an economic report and Katherine Rich will be addressing the NZ supermarket duopoly.

The South Island forum will be held in Ashburton on August 13 and the North Island in Pukekohe on August 19, at which the annual meeting will also take place.

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