It might not be so easy to get your hands on some delicious hot chips this summer or when you do, be prepared to pay a higher price than usual.
Processed potatoes used for potato chips, crisps and other potato products are in tight supply, the industry warns.
Tasmania is responsible for producing a big share of these in Australia, but the peak industry body for the vegetable and potato industries, AUSVEG, told news.com.au ongoing wet weather had caused delays in planting seeds and in getting farm machinery for paddock preparation.
“On top of this, growers in the region are facing significant increases in the costs of production for critical farm inputs, including fertiliser, energy, fuel, labour and chemicals, which is adding to the burden that growers are facing in trying to get their crops planted, harvested and sent to processors,” AUSVEG communications manager Shaun Lindhe said.
He said it was just another blow for farmers already operating in a “challenging and unpredictable environment”.
Speaking to The Australian, Sydney businesses have already reported scarce supply and soaring costs.
Haymarket Seafood and Fish & Chips said its weekly chip bill had increased by $200 and its usual brand of chips had been out of stock for about four months, meaning it had to switch to a different types of chips.
Fat Fish in Annandale said the price of its chips had gone up by about 35 per cent.
“Fat Fish is one of the more popular fish and chips shop around here so in the summer months we go from around 90 boxes of chips per week to needing around 120 boxes,” chief cook John Notaras told the newspaper.
“But with the shortage of supply and the increase in price … all of that profit from chips alone is gone.”
Mr Lindhe wants consumers to remember the price they pay for their frozen potato products is not what the grower receives.
“The increased costs of production has affected the profitability of many growers, so we encourage all consumers to continue to support local growers by buying plenty of Australian-grown vegetables and potato products in the lead-up to the festive season and into the New Year,” he said.
Coles confirmed to news.com.au poor weather in the eastern states had affected supply of some frozen potato products and it hoped to return stock to normal levels in the coming months.
In early November, Woolworths Group chief executive Brad Banducci said a “very poor growing season” in Tasmania had affected the supply of potatoes in the frozen category. When approached by news.com.au on Monday, Woolworths did not have an update.
Simplot, which owns Birds Eye and Edgell, and McCain Foods confirmed the shortage of processed potatoes to The Australian.