The national potato shortage could continue for months say experts

NZ 16/10/2017

New Zealand is experiencing a nationwide potato shortage after the wet winter - and the industry is blaming climate change.

There should be enough potatoes to feed regular consumption, but potato chips are being impacted.

Signs have been spotted at Pak'nSave informing customers of the limited stock of potato chips.

Potatoes New Zealand chief executive Chris Claridge told The AM Show this is a serious issue.

"This will go on for several months - the wet weather hasn't stopped. The issue is we don't have a corresponding dry period that allows farmers onto the fields."

Mr Claridge said the chipocalypse will only impact some brands.

"Companies who process their crisps in the North Island are mostly affected; companies who process their crisping potatoes in the South Island aren't as affected because weather hasn't affected them as much."

He said the shortage is a direct result of climate change.

"It's raining a lot more than normal so that's an indication that climate change is occurring. It's not just potato farmers - other farmers are being affected.

"This has been one of the wettest seasons in about 50 years so the question is whether or not these weather patterns are going to continue."