Retailers struggling to source new potatoes

Slow growth rates impact on availability of new potatoes



2 May 2013

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Retailers across the country are reporting difficulty in sourcing new potatoes this season. Normally the crops start to hit the shelves in mid-May but due to this year’s slow growth rates, caused by a late spring have impacted on the availability of new potatoes.

Retailers have also complained about scarce supplies in certain varieties favoured by the Irish palate. Dan Horan, who owns a chain of fruit and vegetable shops in Co Kerry, said he’s having problems sourcing potatoes, particularly the Kerr’s Pink variety, popular in the west and south of the country because of their floury texture.

Horan says these are proving very scarce and suppliers can "name their price". He’s encouraging consumers to try other varieties like Golden Wonder or the Rooster, developed by Teagasc at its crop centre in Carlow. Horan says most years’ new potatoes come on the market in the first and second week of May but this year it will be at least June before they are available.

Teagasc crop specialist, Michael Hennessy says three weeks is probably an accurate assessment of when the first new season potatoes will come on the market. "Most potato crops have gone in up to two months later than usual and yields are expected to be down," said Hennessy. The Irish Farmers’ Association says the lateness of this year’s crop will hopefully see a better return for the producer.



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