Tasmanian Growers Receive Increase

Published online: Nov 07, 2006 Alan Harman
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Tasmanian potato growers have received their first price rise in six years with reports processor McCain Foods Australia Pty. Ltd. will pay growers A$10 a tonne more for russet burbank varieties and an extra A$6 a tonne for other varieties.

Grower representative Phillip Beswick told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that the increase would help farmers facing a difficult season ahead.

"It's pretty significant, the company has recognized the hardship growers are going to be in this year with the problems with water and acquiring it, and the high costs that we've had in the last 12 months," he said. "A lot of growers would have preferred a bit more but we think this is a pretty fair offer."

Meantime, McCain confirmed job losses at its Smithton processing plant in the northwest of
Tasmania. In a statement, McCain said a number of staff have agreed to voluntary redundancies, with 10 jobs to be cut.

Managing Director Steve Yung said the amount of overseas imports was a concern but added that controlling costs and keeping prices down was the best way to limit the impact of imported products.