US: Potato Grower Group Rejects Processors’ Contract Offer
Washington potato farmers have rejected pre-season contract offers from the three major processing companies. “They each gave us what they considered their final offer, which we rejected but is going to be on the contracts that go out to the growers,” said Dale Lathim, executive director of Potato Growers of Washington quoted by Capital Press. “Each individual grower can decide for themselves whether they want to sign it or not.”
The organization negotiates contracts with the potato processors on behalf of more than 60 farmers representing 85% of the region’s volume, Lathim said. The organization reports a weighted average instead of any individual contract prices. Growers face at least a 4% increase in their cost of production this year, but the processors have dropped their price 3%.
“That 7% swing is a very big blow to the growers and one that many of them cannot afford,” Lathim explained.