Big freeze costs potato growers €15m
THE big freeze cost farmers more than €15m as they could not harvest 6,000 acres of potatoes.
The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) said yesterday some members could struggle to make ends meet this year as they would have no crop to sell until the summer.
Raymond Coyle, owner of crisp manufacturer Largo Foods -- which owns Tayto -- said production could be affected if growers go out of business. It buys 35,000 tonnes of potatoes from local growers for its production facility in Ashbourne, Co Meath.
An IFA spokesman said: "This situation is a wipeout for growers who endured a very difficult season with low prices for produce . . . and the worst weather conditions for years."
Pictured in Ashbourne with Mr Tayto were local farmer Anthony Batersby and Thomas Carpenter, IFA national potato chairman.