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Simplot agreed to take surplus potatoes in Tasmania

Potato harvest is winding down across Tasmania's main production areas.

This season, processor Simplot Australia agreed to take surplus potatoes.

Growers have been able to deliver up to 5 per cent over their contracted quota, an arrangement that has suited Wesley Vale grower and Simplot supplier, Stuart Greenhill.

He said it had been a good growing season, which has led to higher yields above his contracted tonnes.

Mr Greenhill said normally that would be a problem, but not this season.

"[We would be] dumping them I would think, or putting them into the fresh market at probably a low price because they're not a fresh market variety," he said.

"It wouldn't have been an easy sell."

Mr Greenhill said he thought it was fair to accept a price for surplus potatoes which is lower than the agreed contract figure.

"The good thing about a contract is you can work out your growing costs with that contract at the start of the year," he said.

"If you get into the surplus of above 5 per cent, well it's like cream.

"So you're probably not going to get the full price for that much surplus."

Mr Greenhill said he would like to see the productivity clause remain in future Simplot contracts.

Growers and Simplot are still negotiating next season's prices.

Sassafras grower and member of the Simplot Tasmanian Farmers and Grazier's Association negotiating committee, Matt Ryan, said discussions are sensitive.

"It wouldn't be appropriate for me to say where we're at at the moment," he said.

"Hoping that we will maintain a pretty reasonable position for potato growers in Tasmania that are grown for Simplot."

Mr Ryan said he believes Simplot will take 4,000 tonnes of surplus potatoes from around 20 growers.

Simplot's Ulverstone factory will shutdown at the end of this week for routine maintenance.

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