Marking today’s National Potato Day awareness drive, IFA national potato chairman Eddie Doyle has called on consumers to buy Irish potatoes to support an important indigenous industry.
Mr Doyle also urged retailers to recognise the investments potato growers have made in machinery and cold storage to ensure a continuous 12-month supply of Irish product.
“Growers deserve a viable price for their product and potatoes must be sold as a premium product, and not be used in practices such as below cost selling” said Mr Doyle.
“Ireland’s potato growers produce a crop with a farmgate value of €100m. An important domestic crop, synonymous with Irish agriculture, potatoes also have very important health benefits. There is more Vitamin C in a potato than there is in an orange, more fibre than in an apple, and more potassium than in a banana.”
Ireland has around 500 potato growers, however the top 200 growers produce about 75% of the commercial crop. This year will see 60,000 fewer tonnes of Irish potatoes in the market, with the area planted for 2014 at 9,342 hectares — a 15% reduction on 2013.