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Europa 07/12/2023

Francia: France in farming crisis as cost of potatoes soars - making chips and crisps expensive

Farmers have told how the "worst harvest in 30 years" has contributed to sky-high potato prices in France.

France is in the midst of a farming crisis thanks to national inflation, which has pushed up the price of potatoes and, consequently, many potato-based products.

The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), a French government agency, recently found that potato produce prices have skyrocketed by almost 23 percent in a year.

Recent figures released by the agency show that prices for a kilo of potatoes in September 2023 were as high as €2.09 (£1.81), 39¢ (34p) higher than they were in September 2022.

Frozen potato prices have increased at a similar rate, having risen 25 percent in the same period, while mashed potato and crisp prices have increased by 20 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

Farmers have blamed the shock price surge on poor crop yields, with some saying 2022 was their "worst harvest in 30 years", and the recent figures may only compound their issues.

Speaking to Franceinfo, Geoffroy d’Evry, a grower at Nampcel in the Oise department and president of the national union of potato growers, said there were several reasons why potatoes wouldn’t grow in 2022.

He blamed the war in Ukraine for putting pressure on fertilisers and causing energy costs to rise.

Mr d’Evry added that the recent heatwave trend has proven "extremely damaging to French potato production".

The farming blight has rocked the French supply chain, causing prices to rise across processors, according to Bertrand Ouillon, the director of potato processing firm interprofession.

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He explained: "The cost of production per tonne rose by 25 percent in 2022, while yields were falling."

He added: "All the costs in the supply chain have gone up. I can’t think of a single item of expenditure that processors are reducing."

As a result of those increases, growers and manufacturers have had to renegotiate their contracts, and they are now 36 percent more expensive ahead of the next harvest.

Fuente: https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1839524/france-farming-crisis-potato-cost


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