UFU comment on financial support package for potato growers

Friday, 30 April, 2021

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) says continuous lobbying efforts to gain support for its members who were impacted following the collapse of the Northern Ireland (NI) processing potato market due to the pandemic, will finally receive much needed support. The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Minister Edwin Poots announced yesterday (29 April), that a financial support package for processing potato growers will be rolled out.

UFU deputy president William Irvine said, “The NI processing potato sector will benefit greatly from this support and the news will be well-received by our potato growers whose incomes were directly impacted by the pandemic. The support package will help to compensate the losses our processing potato growers incurred due to a reduction in demand from the hospitality and food service sector.

“The market for processing potatoes in NI has been adversely impacted since October. Our potato growers have had to sell their potatoes for livestock feed at significantly reduced prices. I urge members who are selling potatoes for stock feed to retain evidence of sales to meet the anticipated scheme requirements.”

Further details of the scheme will be announced in early May with explanatory information being provided on the DAERA website.

“The scheme’s announcement is a successful outcome for the UFU as we have been lobbying DAERA Minister Edwin Poots, on behalf of our processing potato growers to gain necessary support to help sustain their family farm businesses. The UFU will continue to liaise with DAERA officials to ensure the support is rolled out as quickly as possible so our potato growers can benefit, and to help sustain potato businesses across NI,” said the UFU deputy president.