Potato Purchase Funding Pt 3

Potato Purchase Funding Pt 3

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. While the news is welcome, the $50-million dollars USDA will spend to purchase surplus potatoes will only make a dent in the money needed to rescue potato growers who stand to lose much more.

National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles says the recent potato giveaways by growers are great, but it’s not the answer …

QUARLES … “It shouldn’t be the choice of the potato growers who wants to get food to the needy, but he’s got to go bankrupt in the process. I mean, that’s just, that’s not a fair situation. We need the federal government to be our partner in this and they can do it. And, clearly this is a good step that they’ve just taken and they’ve just got to do more and we’ve got to execute.”

In the meantime, Quarles says the good growers will do the right thing …

QUARLES … “Yeah, I think folks are really stepping up and they’re doing fantastic things. We’ve just got to get more resources where they need to be.”

And, Quarles says the problem extends beyond just the growers …

QUARLES … “Right now, we’ve been talking about the surplus commodity buys, which is incredibly important. We’ve also had the other end of this relief package which are the direct payments for folks who, they don’t have any product to give away. They may have lost their window and thinking about seed potato producers and those type of individuals. They’re just standing there holding an empty bag and they’ve got to get some relief as well, just through a different mechanism.”

Bottom line, Quarles says we need this partnership with Congress and the Administration sooner rather than later.

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