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Euro-potato chip dumping investigation begins

3rd November 2020 By Samantha Worthington | samantha@foodticker.co.nz | @foodtickernz

A Government investigation into the alleged dumping of potato fries and wedges from Belgium and the Netherlands to New Zealand has begun. 

Earlier this year, industry body Potatoes New Zealand aired its concerns about the potato glut in Europe, and how it believed frozen fries could soon be dumped in New Zealand. 

The glut had been caused by Covid-19 lockdowns across Europe, which led to a huge surplus of potatoes.

Potatoes NZ filed a complaint with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in July, and also called for duties to be imposed on the foreign goods. 

After considering if there were grounds for an investigation, it was announced on Friday in the New Zealand Gazette that Step 1 of the investigation had begun. 

In its official complaint, Potatoes NZ said there were already strong indications increased imports would be shipped to New Zealand in the wake of the downturn in European markets caused by Covid-19 and an associated glut of frozen potato products. 

It said the five potato processors in New Zealand would be the first to be “harmed” by the dumping, and there would be a “range of damaging effects” across the industry, including potential job losses.

“Frozen potato products have been imported from Belgium and the Netherlands for a number of years but a significant change of circumstance as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in reduced demand for frozen potato products globally, which has resulted in increased available inventories in Belgium and the Netherlands,” the application read. 

“This has impacted the frozen potato supply chain of these industries significantly leading to government intervention in Belgium and the Netherlands to assist the industry to mitigate surplus potato raw material.

“This in turn is being taken advantage of by the frozen potato producers, who are buying raw material at less than 20% of prior market value.” 

 

 


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