Potato growers settle


SIMPLOT potato growers have agreed on a compromised increase in price for the season ahead after extended negotiations with the processor. In another well-attended turn out in Deloraine this week, the committee reported their results from negotiations with Simplot.

A total increase of $105 per tonne on last year was finalised for the season ahead. This comprises of $44/t costs excluding fertiliser and $35/t in fertiliser costs subject to changing fertilizer prices. An additional $25/t sign on bonus based on new season contracted grower paid tonnes. The negotiations also included agreements on the processors end to better facilitate cartage and transfer of the produce. This includes investment in to grading tables at storage sites, refreshed and improved training for storage team members and an increase in storage capacity moving forward.

Negotiations between the TFGA Simplot Potato Grower Committee began in mid-May where farmers first aired concerns on the viability of growing potatoes this season. Increased input costs and a poor previous growing season had decreased farmers margins for the season ahead.

“Throughout our negotiations we genuinely believe we have engaged to listen and provide a fair offer that covers all cost movements, increases grower margin and provides assistance following a challenging season,” was Simplot’s response on the report given to attending farmers. While the committee did not endorse the final price put forward they have encouraged farmers to make their own decisions based on individual circumstances.

The TFGA Simplot Potato Grower Committee were contacted for comment.