In the news today Australian potato farmers are protesting against the shabby treatment they are receiving by frozen food giant McCain’s by blocking the entrance to McCain’s property and giving away their yield for free to anyone but McCain’s.
Apparently “The Canadian food giant decided to reduce the farmers pay to $26.50 per tonne, which means they will receive $273.50 per tonne”
News stories tend to leave the amount of information at that, focusing instead on capturing a snapshot of the one farmer that decides to draw attention by taking his clothes off than commenting on what this means.
What this means is that farmers are expected to take an 8.8% price cut for their efforts, remembering farmers here have dealt with drought and recent flooding.
Considering a kilogram of fresh brushed potatoes sends you back $2.98 here in a supermarket, offering the people that grew them 27c for the same kilogram seems, well a bit wrong. But that is for a kilogram of potatoes that have been brushed, moved around and dumped on a shelf. The frozen “super” fries McCain’s sell go for $3.79 per kilogram.
Everything’s tough? According to Wikipedia McCain’s revenue was up to a total of 6.5 BILLION Canadian Dollars in 2009
This story is not unlike others, this big company is playing hardball and it knows that they can get cheaper imports in if they are given no other option that doesn’t draw the picture on their balance sheets that they want to see.