16 January 2023
Country sees purchase limits and price hikes after planting/harvesting difficulties.
WHOLESALE costs for potatoes in Australia have soared more than 25% after heavy rainfall and flooding wreaked havoc on farms, and as a result purchase limits and price increases are now hitting consumers.
An incredibly long and wet season has meant farmers have struggled to plant and harvest their crops, leading to a supply shortage. Processing supplies have been particularly badly hit, forcing pubs, restaurants and fish and chip shops to source alternatives during the summer holiday chip peak.
Australian supermarket, retail and consumer services chain, Coles, has introduced another temporary restriction of two-packs per person. A similar two-pack restriction was temporarily put in place in mid-December. Back then it was predicted there would be further supply issues in the New Year.
“Poor weather in the eastern states has affected supply of some frozen potato products across the industry,” a spokesperson told 7NEWS.com.au. “We thank customers for their patience while we work hard with suppliers to minimise disruption and return stock to normal levels in the coming months.”
The supermarket giant’s supply of fresh potatoes is unaffected.
Woolworths Supermarkets, the Australian chain of supermarkets and grocery stores owned by Woolworths Group, says it does not currently have any limits on potato products and expects its supply to normalise by early February.
The shortage has hit some businesses so hard they have been forced to close owing to lack of stock.
Roy’s Fish & Chips Takeaway Cafe in Bateman’s Bay, NSW, packed up shop twice in one week over the New Year because it had no chips, while Whyalla’s Topz Shopz Deli had to bump up the price of chips as a result of ths shortage and having to buy in from overseas.
Other business have moved towards cutting their own chips to try to keep up with demand.