Western Shipping Concerns Remain for Ag
Chris Voigt, Executive Director of the Washington state Potato Commission says they continue to struggle when it comes to getting product overseas, despite red hot demand for U.S. potatoes.
“We’re still struggling to get, let's say our, French Fries, our tater tots, our hashbrown patties on boats to get over to market, and we’re seeing a huge erosion of our market share just because we can’t get product to our customers in various Pacific Rim countries.”
Voigt noted the shipping issue has been going on for so long that the EU and China have had the opportunity to fill many of the gaps as American producers struggle to get needed storage space on outgoing cargo ships.
And he added the challenges have impacted how customers can consume those potato products.
“It’s gotten so bad that there are lot of restaurants that have taken French fries off of their menus. McDonald’s in Japan, for example, you can no longer buy a large order of fries, you can only get small or medium sizes. So, it has become a problem. If we can’t improve this shipping situation, going to the Pacific Rim, we’re going to continue to lose market share, so we’re really concerned about that.”