Canadian Potato Processors Run Out of Storage Space
Canadian potato producers have been struggling to find enough freezer space to store their excess crops in the context of the collapsing demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The freezer storage in the factories is pretty well full. There’s not a lot of room for those factories to run longer,” Kevin MacIsaac, the general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada said.
If there is not enough freezer space, MacIsaac said producers would try to delay processing the potatoes into French fries for as long as they can, or divert as many as they can into fresh potatoes for grocery stores.
To avoid food waste, growers donate to food banks in most provinces, but MacIsaac said the logistics of packaging and transporting large volumes of potatoes can be challenging in these already difficult times.
He added that the surplus of potatoes will have a ripple effect on the growers who are already out in the fields planting crops for the coming year.
“They’ve been notified by their customers or their manufacturers that those same companies do not need as many potatoes for the coming year because their volume has been cut back,” he explained. “So they’re left in the lull. They’re not sure what to do with those additional acres they had planned on planting.”