- Title: U.K. & FRANCE: POTATOES, THE STAPLE FOOD, BECOME A Luxury IN WESTERN EUROPE.
- Date: 22nd February 1976
- Summary: 1. GV Paris market streets 0.06 2. CU Prices on ship windows 0.10 3. MV shopper buying potatoes and niving change (2 shots) 0.18 4. SV Worker carrying sack of potatoes through crowd 0.24 5. SV Eager buyers crowding to buy potatoes (2 shots) 0.42 6. GV Sign advertising potatoes 0.45 7. GV Potatoes growing in field 0.53 8. SV Potatoes tipped form lorry to conveyor and being bagged and stacked on lorry again (4 shots) 1.12 9. SV Sign showing potato prices 1.17 10. SV Shoppers buying potatoes 1.20 11. SV Fish and chip shop 1.23 12. SV Chips being fried 1.30 13. SV & CU Poole eating fish and chips (6 shots) 1.49 14. SV Shopkeeper serving chips and people walking along street along street bating chips (3 shots) 2.10 Initials BB/1600 TA/AW/BO/1630 Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 8th March 1976 12:00
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE & LONDON & OXFORDSHIRE, U.K
- Country: United Kingdom
- Reuters ID: LVAC71E7OQVA1SQEL7B1SW7C2MCJ
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: The potato, a staple foot in most west European countries, is finally being properly appreciated.
A recent European Economic Community (EEC) document boasted that the Community's nine countries are responsible for one sixth of the world's potato production, but ironically a potato shortage in western Europe this year has caused some confusion.
There are two reasons for the potato crisis. One is that the Community does not subsidize potatoes, so farmers last year switched to subsidised crops such as sugar beet and planted 13 per cent less potatoes than in 1974. The other reason is that one of the driest summers on record shrivelled the potatoes in their beds cutting the Community's usual potato harvest form 42 million tons to only 33 million tons.
The head of the British National Housewives' Association tried to fight the potato shortage by denial -- "We have nothing to lose but our waistlines" was her slogan-- but fish and chips being Britain's most popular dish she seems to be fighting a losing battle. Britain an West Germany have been importing potatoes from the Dutch, the Butch have bene importing form Belgium and Belgium has been trying to get more potatoes from France.
French farmers caused a stir in Paris last week when they sold their potatoes at wholesale prices direct to the customers as part of a general protest against the Community's agricultural policy. The farmers feel the prices being fixed in Brussels, the administrative centre of the Community, are too low. They are also angry abate the embarrassing surpluses in Europe this year of milk-powder, beef, butter and wine.
As the tendency grows for countries in the Community to hold onto their own potatoes, Britain has found a new supply from an unlikely source -- India. India has had a potato gault and is likely to export 30,000 tons this year to Britain and the Middle East.
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