Potato wholesale costs have soared more than 25 per cent after recent heavy rainfall and flooding wreaked havoc on farms.
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An incredibly long and wet season has meant farmers have struggled to plant and harvest their crops, leading to a supply shortage.
The wild weather has hit spuds used mainly for processing, forcing pubs, restaurants and fish and chip shops to source alternatives during the summer holiday chip peak.
In a bid to alleviate supply woes, Coles has introduced a temporary restriction of two-packs per person this week.
It follows a similar two-pack restriction temporarily put in place in mid-December. Back then it was predicted there would be further supply issues in the New Year.
“Poor weather in the eastern states has affected supply of some frozen potato products across the industry,” a spokesperson told 7NEWS.com.au.
“We thank customers for their patience while we work hard with suppliers to minimise disruption and return stock to normal levels in the coming months.”
The supermarket giant’s supply of fresh potatoes is unaffected.
Woolworths does not have any limits on potato products and expects its supply to normalise by early February.
Passing on the pinch
The shortage has hit some businesses so hard they have been forced to close due to a lack of stock.
Roy’s Fish & Chips Takeaway Cafe in Bateman’s Bay, NSW, packed up shop twice in one week over the New Year because they had no chips.
“Due to potato shortages we have run out of chips so we cannot open. Sorry for the inconvenience,” a sign on their door read.
Whyalla’s Topz Shopz Deli said the tight squeeze had forced them to pass on the pinch to customers and bump up the price of their chips.
“We are even getting chips from overseas now, that’s how bad it is. So this has caused the prices to sky-rocket as well, by more than $20 a box,” the business shared in a post.
“This probably won’t be the last time either … We tried to hold off for as long as possible but the time Even oil has gone up $25 a drum, it just doesn’t stop. We tried to hold off as long as possible but the time has come to put them up.”
Other business have moved towards cutting their own chips to try to keep up with demand.
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