Aussies May Strike Over Contracts

Published online: May 24, 2001
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Australian potato growers, tired of producing below the cost of production, are threatening a strike over prices offered by multinational processors Simplot and McCain Foods.

Some 400 growers from Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia voted unanimously for a price increase of A$30 a ton.

Potato Growers Council of Tasmania Chairman Max McKenna said a decade of falling returns and rising input costs meant growers would not accept less.

"We require three cents a kilogram, so it's a 15 percent price increase," McKenna said. "We've had price reductions since 1991-the price has gone down for 10 years."

"We believe that even the processors need some price increases and we want to go with them and talk to the fast-food people and the supermarkets because we've both got to get a bigger share of the consumer dollar."