AUSVEG remains wholly unconvinced of the benefits of a grower-funded generic potato marketing campaign despite claims from the Potato Marketing Corporation of Western Australia that the initiative has been a success in that state.

Data from the PMC’s own annual report has shown that potato sales revenue for 2013-14 dropped by almost 3 per cent from the previous financial year, which raises very legitimate questions about the value growers have received from their significant marketing investment.

“While the PMC are claiming ‘clear and tangible signs of success’ from the Western Australian grower-funded generic marketing campaign, we believe growers have received an unacceptable return on their investments,” said AUSVEG spokesperson Andrew MacDonald.

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing more than 2,000 Australian potato growers.

“As the marketing spend increased to $1.9 million in Western Australia in 2013-14 from $224,000 the previous financial year, it is disheartening to see a drop in sales revenue, which means less money in growers’ pockets on two fronts,” said Mr MacDonald.

“With almost $2 million sunk in to marketing in WA, it appears growers have not enjoyed any tangible financial benefit as a result of this campaign, and claims of success are highly questionable.”

AUSVEG is also opposed to introducing a national marketing levy to fund a nationwide generic potato marketing campaign.

“Australian vegetable and potato growers are currently enduring tough business conditions locally, as a result of growing input costs, and tight margins,” said Mr MacDonald.

“In an environment such as this, it is irresponsible to ask growers to sink more of their hard earned money in to initiatives which are unlikely to deliver any benefit.”

“The experience overseas has shown us that generic marketing campaigns for potatoes have also failed in the USA, Canada and United Kingdom.”

“Based on a growing amount of evidence, AUSVEG cannot in good conscience support a national marketing levy for potatoes, which will serve only to rip money out of potato growers’ pockets, and prop up public relations firms and industry associations.”


MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew MacDonald, Manager – Communications, AUSVEG

Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile:  0406 836 330, Email: