Resist spud imports
POTATO growers must drive down production costs to meet the growing challenge from imported processed products.
Nearly a million tonnes of potatoes, including processed, have been imported this season, said Somerset grower Archie Montgomery, at a BPC meeting in Devon last week.
With much of that tonnage going into big fast food chains, he asked why the UK had no par-fried chip expertise.
BPC chairman David Walker agreed that there was scope for investment in UK production, but only if European processors see a competitive supply. Wastage due to mechanical damage and disease contribute significantly to processor costs and need cutting. "Between field and plate half the crop is lost."
• Driving down waste is the theme of the BPCs Potato Technology event at Sutton Bridge on May 13/14.