English stocks held in store as prices soar Rare moves by potato prepackers to import from German and French sources because English stocks are being held in store have alarmed the British Potato Council. Chairman David Walker has told producers to think like suppliers and not hoard product in the hope of price rises. At present, best UK ware can command in excess of £250/tonne, while imports of Bintje from Germany and France, which is also offering Mona Lisa and Sante, are £50/tonne less . The situation could become even more complex in the new year. At present, the BPC estimates there are some 20,000 hectares of production still in the ground because of the bad weather. This accounts for some 800,000 tonnes or 12% of the crop. If conditions allow lifting during the winter, this could still lead to a flood of cheap potatoes in the run up to the new spring crop, plus product which has been held back in store. Walker writes in an open letter to the industry: "Never has there been a need for greater dialogue and co-operation within the supply chain. "It must be the responsibility of all grower groups and packers to meet an agree supply and pricing policies that allow all sides to win. The alternative is that all sides will lose." {{FRESH PRODUCE }}