New Zealand is facing a potential chip shortages this summer, the producers say, in a snack-attack “the chipocalypse”.
Persistent damp of the winter on the islands, has hit the production of potatoes, resulting in higher prices.
In some places, up to one-third of the crop was lost.
And the chips that are made with a particular type of potato from the affected areas have been particularly affected.
Organization of the industry, Potatoes New Zealand says the price of a kilogram of potatoes has already increased considerably in the last year of AUD $1.63 in August 2016 to $2.12 a year later.
But the ongoing difficulty in the potato farms did not capture public attention until a warning appears on some supermarket crisp aisle.
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The seasons are reversed in the northern and southern hemispheres – so that it is now spring in Australasia, following a particularly bad winter.
“It started to rain in March, and it has not stopped,” said Chris Claridge, head of Potatoes New Zealand, blaming the third wettest year on record.
Speaking to the Radio Live NZ, he said that the farmers did not had the time to dry their crops needed.
“Potatoes are actually alive – they need to breathe. And thus, in effect, they drown, and then they begin to rot… because they are immersed in the water,” he said.
Waterlogged fields also make it more difficult for the peasants to their fields and to save the harvest, he said, because the soil cannot support the weight of a tractor.
New Zealand’s North Island, where crisping varieties are grown, suffered the most, he said – but fresh potato supply from the South Island is largely unchanged.
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It would take a month for the shortage to hit shelves – and it is likely to hit the processed potato food fresher stock.
“You will have new potatoes for Christmas, I promise you that,” Mr. Claridge said.Why are the chips in Japan cost more than Â£8
The supermarket chain Pak n Save, including the warning signs prompted national headlines, later downplayed any possibility of a shortage, saying that it “was in fact due to an error of order” – leading some social media users to wonder if the “chipocalypse” was just a myth.
But a company spokesperson has said of the stuff.co.nz producers have been “highlighted a possible shortage of potatoes”.
The two largest supermarket chains, the two said the new site, they have been “working with suppliers” to avoid any problem.