Potato crisis means chips will be scarce

16/10/2017

With the weather being blamed for a nationwide potato shortage, consumers are facing a potato chip scarcity.  

This has been the third wettest year on record, with heavy rainfall but not enough intervening dry spells - meaning our potatoes have effectively drowned and rotted while still in the soil.

Farmers have also been unable to harvest their potatoes because the fields have been too wet to support tractors.

Chris Claridge, Chief Executive of Potatoes New Zealand, says we're already seeing increased vegetable prices, and it will take some months before potatoes are thriving again.

He says the shortage, which he calls "good evidence" for climate change, will mainly affect processed potato products rather than fresh.

"You will have new potatoes for Christmas, I can guarantee that."

Chris Claridge talks with Wendyl Nissen about the national potato shortage.