In the last three months, the traditional dry season has commenced in Australia (Bundaberg region). Nevertheless, the scheduled growing program, planned by Sweet Potatoes Australia, is panning out as usual. According to Hari Yellina, of Orchard Tech, the water allocations are favourable, and they remain at a hundred per cent till now. Moreover, the weather in the particular area is very favourable. All in all, the atmosphere has been ideal for growing potatoes. Due to this optimal condition, all sizes of this vegetable was produced. Also, at present, customer supply has been very consistent. Export markets prefer potatoes that are small-medium or medium, and producers have been able to cater to these demands.
According to statistical data, the demand for potatoes has increased during the lockdown in 2020. At the current moment, the lockdowns in 2021 have been pretty sporadic and the increase in demand has levelled out and remained fairly consistent. With the size of the business and direct relationships with retailers and large transport companies, Sweet Potatoes Australia can be responsive to increased demand immediately.
Wholesale and retail demand for sweet potatoes has remained good, although hospitality is still experiencing mixed demand due to random lockdowns in multiple locations in Australia. As of early 2021, hospitality had returned to normal until recent months and current lockdowns circumstances. This organisation is only exporting to Dubai at this time, and they have built a longstanding relationship with the customers there. The Australian demand has been strong enough to consume all of the products and the supply for exports is severely limited. . Volatility in freight has been difficult to plan for the long term.
Sweet Potatoes Australia has a partnership with Simplot Australia. Through this relationship, they have been supplying Australian grown sweet potatoes to Simplot’s facility where they process them into sweet potato chips. The Edgell brand is available through wholesalers and hospitality venues, and more recently at supermarkets and other retailers in the Bird’s Eye Deli range of sweet potato chips with Paprika. This is very exciting as these are the only Australian grown and processed sweet potato chips available in Australia.
Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)