HUMBLE SPUD NEEDS MAKEOVER TO KEEP INDUSTRY ALIVE – TOP DONEGAL FARMER

first_imgA leading potato farmer said the humble spud needs a makeover if the industry is to survive in Co Donegal.Burt farmer Charlie Doherty has been farming spuds all his life like his father before him.But with more than €2 million worth of potatoes being ploughed back into the ground or sold cheaply as cattle feed in Donegal this year, Charlie says something needs to be done to rebrand the spud. Competition from potato sellers across the country, poor weather and people eating more rice and pasta has left farmers with a huge surplus of crops.“People think potatoes are fattening but it’s the butter and sauce that is fattening.“Potatoes are a great source of vitamin c and potassium but we are not doing enough to promote our product,” he saidHe said the situation was “on its knees.”. “I have been a potato farmer all my life and so has my father before me and I have never seen it this bad.“We only had three weeks to get our crop out because of the bad weather but up the country they had a great crop and that is why there is a surplus.“We have increased competition from around the country and the cost of us getting our potatoes out of the ground is more than ever.“I really don’t know what we are going to do but pray and hope for a better year next year to bring us out of this,” he said.Charlie, who farms land at Burt, says farmers are selling potatoes for €200 a ton but that ton is being sold after being washed and packaged in supermarkets for €1,600.He says not enough is being done to promote the humble spud and all the goodness it offers. “People think potatoes are fattening but it’s the butter and sauce that is fattening.“Potatoes are a great source of vitamin c and potassium but we are not doing enough to promote our product,” he said.He said recent potato wars between the likes of ALDI, LIDI and Dunnes Stores have no helped their cause.He said he is lucky because he has a cold storage unit but he said many fellow farmers who dug up their crop were now watching as they went off. “They are being sold as cattle feed and they will only get about ten per cent of what they are worth at market,” he said.EndsHUMBLE SPUD NEEDS MAKEOVER TO KEEP INDUSTRY ALIVE – TOP DONEGAL FARMER was last modified: April 20th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BURTCharlie Dohertyfarmerpotatolast_img read more