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McCain Foods under pressure from Aussie dollar and imports

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Food processor McCain Foods has confirmed that four potato growers in Ballarat will not have their contracts renewed for the October/ November harvest period.

The decision to cut the growers contracts was allegedly made due to the strong Aussie dollar and the threat of cheap imports according to the Weekly Times Now.

Supply chain director Gerry Farnell said the company had been in discussions with growers across the country over supply and individual requirements for the past three months.

"The company has a long-standing history with many growers in Ballarat, Tasmania and South Australia, and we are committed to maintaining those relationships where we can," said Farnell.

Farnell says that surplus potatoes from last year’s harvest combined with lower consumer demand and in increase in imports, fuelled the company’s decision to reduce supply.

"Only a decade ago, Australia's potato growers were competitive and import-resistant, and this should be the No.1 priority for growers," he said.

However some growers have claimed that McCain ‘bullied’ them, stating that they risked the cancellation of thier contracts if they did not concede to lower prices.

"Anyone who has spoken out no longer supplies McCain," one grower said.

Photo credit: Vic Lic via photopin

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