In a landmark development, 10 grower associations in the U.S. and Canada agreed to combine information and work for united marketing.
The Potato Growers of Idaho along with the Potato Marketing Association of North America organized the meeting held in Boise, ID, Saturday, April 15, to discuss common industry challenges.
During the meeting, a large group of growers, bargaining associations, bargaining cooperatives, and state and provincial grower associations decided on a five-point harmonization of marketing information.
They will create a communications network to share information; aid each other in contract negotiations; hold regular meetings; actively support the efforts of the PMANA, and have each growing area determine its production costs and the potential impact increasing oil prices will have on production expenses.
The group will meet and evaluate the independently collected information and use it to make sound and prudent business decisions pertaining to the negotiations of the 2001 potato processing contracts.
The following entities were represented at the meeting: Potato Growers of Alberta; Potato Growers of Washington; Potato Growers of Idaho; Malheur (OR) Potato Bargaining Association; Red River Valley Potato Growers Association; Prince Edward Island, Can., Processing Council; Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers; Agricultural Bargaining Council of Maine; New Brunswick Potato Agency; Ontario Potato Marketing Association, and Keystone Vegetable Producers Association (of Pennsylvania).
The effort will mark the first time the groups have agreed to share such information. While the PMANA has been in existence for many years, it has not had the support of such a broad group of associations.