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Idaho Potato growers approve contracts with Simplot, McCain

 Idaho potatoes
March 5, 2013
Idaho potato growers at a Monday meeting in Burley approved processing contracts with J.R. Simplot and McCain Foods that both include payment increases averaging 1.6 percent.

Growers had previously approved a contract with Lamb Weston, which also includes a 1.6 percent average payment increase.

"The majority of growers supported the position the processors have taken, I think with the understanding that it's going to result in a reduced margin for us to grow a quality product if we have expansions we anticipate for zebra chip (programs),"said Dan Hargraves, executive director of Southern Idaho Potato Cooperative, which represents Idaho growers in negotiations with processors.


Most of the discussion during the meeting centered around stricter standards in the contracts regarding sugar ends -- high sugar accumulations toward the ends of potatoes, which hurts fry quality and tends to be caused by hot weather.

Companies in this Article
McCain Foods Limited is an international leader in the frozen food industry and the world’s largest manufacturer of frozen potato specialities, employing approximately 18,000 people and operating 50 production facilities on six continents.
Lamb Weston Holdings Inc (NYSE:LW) is the largest potato company in North America with annual sales of approximately $2 billion. Lamb Weston manufactures french fries, potato specialties and dehydrated potato products.
Simplot is one of the three larger french fry manufacturers in the United States.
Southern Idaho Potato Cooperative, SIPCO, was founded in 1997 and acts as the bargaining unit for Idaho frozen process growers.