Saturday 24 February 2018

Wet weather blamed for soaring potato prices

Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

BAD weather has seen the price of the humble spud soar by an average of 50pc in supermarkets and shops in the past year, latest figures reveal.

And all the signs are that potato prices will remain high for the rest of the year.

In just 12 months, a 2.5kg bag of potatoes rose in cost by 26pc, while a 10kg bag was up 82pc, the CSO's Consumer Price Index shows.

The average price of a 2.5kg bag rose from €3.12 to €3.85, while a 10kg bag went from €5.04 to €9.19.

One of the main causes has been "soggy, rain-filled summers'' over the past few years, forcing a sharp drop in crop yields here, in Britain and across Europe.

However, Irish Farmers' Association potato and fresh product development officer, Matt Molloy, said: "The argument should not be how prices have risen, but how far they had fallen before that."

Overall there has been a sharp fall in the number of acres given over to potato farming in Ireland.

Pressure on supplies has meant that potato farmers now earn triple what they made a year ago.

However, this is just enough to free them from the debts that they incurred in the previous two years, according to the IFA.

Irish Independent

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