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    Potatoes South Africa reported that the potato industry in South Africa had lost at least 60.000 tons of potatoes this year, largely due to flooding and frost.

    As a result of a history of poor harvests, chip maker Simba (Pepsico/Frito-Lay) has adopted an "agricultural turnaround plan"which involves growing potatoes in frost-free areas and increasing storage capacity.

    In July and last month, the company struggled with potato supplies.

    It has experienced supply problems over the past four years.

    In a letter to customers, Simba CEO Alan Henderson apologised for the shortage of products in July and last month.

    "Cold weather and the resultant frost arrived on the Highveld bang on time and, as such, potato crops were impacted,"Henderson said.

    "To date we have rejected 10 000 tons of potatoes due to defects and low solids. To produce Simba and Lays chips with these potatoes would have meant the quality of products would not have been acceptable,"said Henderson.

    Mark du Plessis, CEO of Potatoes South Africa, said that through regional potato working groups, farmers were evaluating new varieties as well as undergoing trials and introducing new technology to tackle the challenges.
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