EU growers debate change in crop


28 March 2022
Rising costs prompt debate

GROWERS in the EU are debating whether to continue growing potatoes, or whether to replace the crop with maize or sunflowers because of rising costs, according to a report by Fresh Plaza.

At the beginning of this year, production costs for the potato season were expected to increase by 15-20%. However, since the start of the war in Ukraine, both energy and fuel prices, which were already high, have skyrocketed. This, together with the good prices being achieved by maize and sunflower, is causing some potato producers in northern and central Europe to rethink what they should grow.

Faced with this situation, potato producers are trying to negotiate higher prices with their buyers or more flexible conditions. However, the NEPG (European association that brings together potato producers from France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium) doesn't believe there will be major changes in purchase prices, both in consumer and processing potatoes, although markets have been somewhat hesitant in recent weeks.

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In addition, there is a degree of uncertainty regarding the availability and cost of frying oil (for the coming weeks and months), as well as logistical difficulties (containers and transport) and higher related costs.

The NEPG recommends producers take into account the uncertainties in production costs within contracts and the area they sow.

Source: Fresh Plaza

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