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New-season baby potatoes
make $600,000/t at auction
By PAULA THOMPSON
IT WAS a double celebration
at the Annual Potato Industry
Dinner at the National Wine
Centre of Australia last month.
The auction of new-season baby
potatoes resulted in an impressive
final bid of $9000.
This was for 15 kilograms so that
means a tonne of the special potatoes
sold for $600,000.
This surpassed last year's
bid of $8500 by Thomas Foods
International Fresh Produce general
manager Jamie Roberts, which really
set the benchmark for 2014.
Elders Rural Services stud stock
manager Tony Wetherall worked a
room of more than 125 key industry
stakeholders to produce this out-
The successful bidder, Paul
Capobianco, Tony & Mark's Direct,
suppliers of fresh produce and
fine food, was later crowned 'The
2014 King of Potatoes' by Shadow
Minister for Agriculture, Primary
Industry, Food and Wine David
The auctioned potatoes were
donated by SA Potato Co.
All proceeds from the auction will
be donated to the Little Heroes
Foundation, a charity dedicated
to supporting children living with
cancer and serious illness, and their
Foundation chairman Chris
McDermott said it was a pleasure to
once again partner with Potatoes SA
to launch its new-season produce
and be the beneficiary of the auction.
"Achieving $9000 for a box of
potatoes is a credit to this industry
and the great people that have
united to oversee its growth. The
money will go immediately to assist
sick children in our state and their
families with the struggles they
face," he said.
Potatoes SA CEO Robbie Davis
said it was wonderful to see such
collaborative support for the most
significant sector of horticulture
at a state and national level and
for the charity, the Little Heroes
"It is clear that our representation
covers the value chain with a retailer
bidding so generously," she said.
Investment and Trade Minister
Martin Hamilton-Smith was guest
speaker, and announced that
Potatoes SA would receive $35,000
through the Department of State
Development in addition to $10,000
committed by PIRSA and $15,000
through the South Australian Potato
The SA government is partnering
with Potatoes SA to gain export
access and expand the state's seed
and fresh potato industry within the
growing South East Asian markets of
Thailand and Malaysia.
"These growth markets were
identified in a Federal Department
of Agriculture report entitled Export
Strategy for Australian Potatoes
2014-2019," Mr Hamilton-Smith
"The program's goals will align the
ASEAN region's demand for quality
produce with the supply of potatoes,
the world's fourth largest traded
Ms Davis said the dinner, coordi-
nated by executive chef Philip Pope,
demonstrated just how sophisticated
potatoes could be and how much
potential there was to showcase their
versatility, health benefits and their
The auction for the Little Heroes
Foundation is held annually in
spring and it is evolving into an
increasingly larger event.
"Potatoes SA is delighted to be
associated with such a worthwhile
cause," Ms Davis said.
Tony & Marks' Paul Capobianco and
Shadow Agriculture Minister David
Ridgway with the $9000 box of new-
season baby potatoes.
Tony & Marks' Paul Capobianco
and Little Heroes Foundation's Chris
McDermott with the $9000 box of
new-season baby potatoes.
MorCo Fresh's Arthur Kolaroff and G
Trimboli & Sons' Joe Trimboli.
Elders key account manager Richard
Haynes, Shadow Agriculture Minister
David Ridgway and Rabobank's
Platinum + was the band providing
entertainment for the evening.
Pictured are members Jeff Hills, Barry
Ion, Andy Upton and Steve Gates.
Marine Fishers Association's Nathan
Bicknell and his wfie Sarah, Sue
Nadin, Adelaide, and Francesca
Romeo, Potatoes SA.
Peter March, Syngenta, with his wife
Diane, Peter Hoeck, EE Muir & Sons,
Paul White, Zerella Fresh, and Jon
Jones, D' Vine Ripe.
Hortex's Jackie and Bryan Robertson,
Andrew and Zurri Braham and Judy
and Kevin Harris.
Potatoes SA chairman Brian
Cunningham, CEO Robbie Davis and
Minister for Investment and Trade
G Trimboli & Sons' Ross Trimboli,
Primary Industries Skills Council's
Mary Cody and SA Government's Ben
Nufarm's Nick Hall, Landmark Berri's
Troy Lowe and Landmark Pinnaroo's
HEAT Stress Protection with Photon
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For more information on Photon 500SG phone Stewart Frankling 0447-558 219,
Jim Lyons 0418-831910 or visit our website - www.agricrop.com.au
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