Simplot Australia and Tasmanian potato growers reach new pricing agreement
Simplot and its potato growers continue to work in strong partnership, and the new pricing agreement reflects an understanding of the issues currently being faced by the industry.
The new agreement, which utilised the agreed cost model, comprises a $9 increase per tonne of potatoes and an additional $4.50 fertiliser subsidy per tonne for this season.The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) Simplot Potato Committee have worked closely with Simplot over the past few months to undertake these negotiations.
Dane Smith, Simplot Australia's Executive Director Supply Chain, acknowledges that the industry has had to deal with significant complexity and volatility due to COVID-19 and manage escalating costs, particularly those related to the fertiliser market. "Skyrocketing fertiliser costs combined with other pressures are impacting growers. As a business, we recognise the need to work with and support our Aussie growers. From end to end, the industry must remain strong so that it is here for generations to come. To make this a reality, we must continue to work in partnership to ensure locally grown potatoes remain competitive on a global scale while also remaining a compelling farming option for our growers."
Under the new agreement, Simplot will continue to partner with growers to find new ways to enhance yield and identify mutually beneficial improvements throughout the value chain. Each year Simplot sources more than 300,000 tonnes of potatoes from Tasmanian growers.
Trevor Hall, Chairman of the Simplot Growers Group, said, "An ongoing area of concern for the industry is Pink Rot. It has led to significant potato losses and limits the amount of land available for potato production". To address this issue, the new pricing agreement will see growers contribute 25 cents per tonne towards Pink Rot research, which will fund innovation and technologies.
"It has been a challenging but positive negotiation period in rapidly changing times agriculturally, with sharp rises in land prices and availability, fertiliser prices, worker shortages and COVID. The TFGA Simplot Potato Negotiating Committee believe that we have now reached an outcome that should be acceptable to growers.” said Trevor.