Australian sweet potatoes are currently having impressive showing in the market. The last three months saw the start of the traditional dry season in the Bundaberg region of Australia. But, the growing programme at Sweet Potatoes Australia went ahead as planned this season.
Robert Doyle who handles global sales at the company says, “we have plenty of access to water with our water allocations remaining at 100% and the region is experiencing normal climate and weather patterns – conditions have been good for growing.
“It’s been quite typical that we have had the expected range of sizes (large, medium and smalls). We have been able to supply to all our customers consistently. As far as export is concerned, our export customers prefer a small medium/medium specification and we have had plenty to supply.”
During lockdown in 2020 the demand was good. Lockdowns in 2021 have been sporadic and the increase in demand has levelled out and remained fairly consistent. With the size of the business and direct relationships with retailers and large transport companies, Sweet Potatoes Australia can be responsive to increased demand immediately.
Wholesale and retail demand for sweet potatoes has remained good, although hospitality is still experiencing mixed demand due to random lockdowns in multiple locations in Australia. As of early 2021, hospitality had returned to normal until recent months and current lockdowns circumstances.
“We are only exporting to Dubai at this time, and have built a longstanding relationship with our customers there. The Australian demand has been strong enough to consume all of our product and we have limited supply for export. Volatility in freight has been difficult to plan for long term.”
Sweet Potatoes Australia has a partnership with Simplot Australia. Through this relationship they have been supplying Australian grown sweet potatoes to Simplot’s facility where they process them into sweet potato chips.
“The Edgell brand is available through wholesalers and the hospitality venues, and more recently at supermarkets and other retailers in the Bird’s Eye Deli range sweet potato chips with Paprika. This is very exciting as these are the only Australian grown and processed sweet potato chips available in Australia.”