Potato acres likely to drop as contract talks continue
By Potatoes in Canada
April 25, 2014, Manitoba – Manitoba potato growers and processors know fewer potatoes will be grown in the province this year.
“We know there will be another decrease in volume though (from last year),” Dan Sawatzky, manager of Keystone Potato Growers Association Inc., told the Keystone Agricultural Producers’ general council meeting April 11, according to the Manitoba Co-operator. “There are a lot of concerns in the potato industry.”
Simplot and Cavendish Farms have agreed to production volumes with producers, but McCain Foods still hasn't decided on the volume it wants Manitoba's processing growers to produce this year. All three processors have cut some growers entirely from their contract list, the Co-operator writes.
Sawatsky says Cavendish, Simplot and McCain have cut contracts with many Manitoba farmers. He estimates six farms were affected completely with McCain, five growers affected by Cavendish's cuts, and adds Simplot has also cut a couple of growers, with 100 per cent volume reductions.
McCain’s has committed to a temporary volume agreement, promising to contract at least 65 per cent of the volume from last year. “We were able to (get) them to commit to a minimal level of 65 percent of last year,” Sawatzky says. “We expect they’ll be quite a bit higher than that.”
He fears that although some growers will have contracts with other companies, others may exit the business because of the cuts.