Australia: Heavy rain and floods sprout Christmas potato shortage fears

All varieties, including popular brushed potatoes, had been impacted. Picture: Stock imageFears of a potato shortage at Christmas have sprouted in the wake of heavy rain and floods. Families wanting to pile plates with spuds for a traditional roast lunch face the risk of “significant” price rises, a major supplier has warned. “The toughest period will be in the week leading up to Christmas and the New Year,” Red Gem spokesman Robert Cerchiaro said. Red Gem is one of the largest potato producers in the country, producing over 20,000 tonnes a year. “The peak growing months of September and October were adversely affected by once-in-a-lifetime rain.” All varieties, including popular brushed potatoes, had been impacted. Tight supply had been compounded by Victoria’s biggest producer, Oakville, going into receivership in early May, Mr Cerchiaro said. More