Aggrieved Australian potato growers have accepted an offer from McCain Foods of an extra A$22 (US$11.64) per tonne for this year, and an extra A$9 per tonne during 2002. Some growers stressed that the threat of a national blockade on the crop still remains however.
Growers had blockaded McCain’s Smithton factory while demanding a A$30 increase in the A$195 per tonne payment, and the agreement was only reached after a previous offer of an extra A$16 per tonne by McCain was rejected.
Only 25% of the 400 growers in Tasmania supply McCain, and the remaining 75% are now seeking similar deals from other manufacturers. So far, an offer from Simplot Australia of an extra A$30 per tonnes of the next three years has been rejected.