Dilemma

Anton HaverkortA commodity is a product, be it from anorganic source such as iron ore or organic such as wheat, that is interchangeable and homogeneous and of which its origin does not matter.

Anton HaverkortA commodity is a product, be it from anorganic source such as iron ore or organic such as wheat, that is interchangeable and homogeneous and of which its origin does not matter. Fresh potato sold in shops, markets and supermarkets when harvested and traded in bulk generally is considered as such a commodity. One of the characteristics of a good is that prices drop when overproduction takes place due to increased production or to declining demand. Growers that cannot readily invest in new machinery, buildings and production techniques while prices drop and occasionally prices of other commodities increase face a dilemma. Should they stay in fresh bulk commodity potato, or enter potato specialties markets or destine their land to other crops of which prices increase such as wheat or energy crops making their potato investments redundant? Researchers Lange and Kawchuck published an article in the American Journal of Potato Research (2014, 91:440-446) about the various growth strategies for the declining German fresh potato market which is quite relevant for similar markets throughout the world. 

 

Anton Haverkort
anton.haverkort@wur.nl