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United of America, PMANA To Work Together

The United Potato Growers of America (United) met this week with leaders of the Potato Marketing Association of North America (PMANA) and agreed to work together to ensure that potato supply does not exceed demand across North America. By combining the knowledge and experience of PMANA with United’s supply management experience and professional staff, a strategic plan was developed to restore profitability to processing contracts.

"PMANA and United recognize that all growers – fresh, process and seed – must work together to restore and maintain profitability in all sectors," said Julia Cissel, United’s CEO. "By utilizing the supply management, information systems and strategic planning processes developed by United we want to be a resource to PMANA as they work to ensure a sufficient contract price increase to cover large cost of production increases that growers are experiencing."

Contract bargaining will continue to be conducted by the various associations in PMANA. United will facilitate this coordination through its national office in Salt Lake City, Utah, and provide staff to ensure the timely flow of information between regions as bargaining progresses.

Reduction in supplies of chipping potatoes has resulted in increases in the value of signed chip contracts of $1.20 to $1.50 per cwt. for the 2006 crop. Reduced supplies have resulted in increased returns for fresh growers. PMANA and United are encouraging growers to follow supply management recommendations to ensure that no surplus potatoes are planted.

PMANA is composed of 12 bargaining associations in the United States and Canada. United was organized 10 months ago to manage the supply of fresh potatoes. Last fall the United board voted to explore ways to involve chip, seed, and process growers. United consists of six regional cooperatives, with others, including some in Canada, in the process of organization. The combined membership of these two organizations represents more than 80 percent of the potatoes grown in North America.

Originally posted Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006

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