We had a fantastic visit with David Mitchell at Mitchell Potatoes recently (September), with 2 main areas that we wanted to understand more about and that have constantly been in the news: prices and quality.
Carol-Ann speaks to business owners every day in her role here at Florigo, and she wants to be as supportive as she can – so understanding processes, why prices fluctuate, how the weather has an impact on crops, and the care put into the harvest prior to product being shipped out to the shops was all important information for us.
David always does his best to be as informative as possible, and gave answers to subjects which are on everyone’s mind now. We know the hints, tips, and knowledge David has shared are helpful and good information for the industry.
THE PROCESS – End of Season
As the potatoes come to the end of their season and start to brown off to be harvested, there are decisions to be made by the potato grower. They will already be thinking of what to do for next season and need to decide how many hectares they want to allocate to potatoes and what potatoes they want to grow.
THE PROCESS – Storage and Care
Once harvested, the potatoes are placed in a cold store ready to go out to market in March, April, and May next year. The storage must be right, and every care is taken to ensure high quality potatoes, all ready for our Fish & Chip shops. To optimise the quality of your potatoes you must keep them away from frost and store in a cool, dark, dry place.
Sampling potatoes – Mitchells Potatoes sample every day before being sold. They send them to a fish and chip shop to peel and fry to get a good test of the quality and know what they are selling, and in turn the shops get what they want.
WHY PRICES CAN FLUCTUATE
As already mentioned, potato growers rely on farmers deciding what potato they want to grow, and this can affect the prices for the next season/year. If they grow less the prices could go up, and if they grow more prices would go down.
THE COST OF POTATOES
The cost of growing potatoes is intensive, with fertilisation, irrigation and storage (and now electricity running costs) to consider. It’s also expensive to store the potatoes at one temperature all the way through the winter.
Check out our video content with the fabulous David Mitchell!
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