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Processing industry


The South African potato processing industry has grown over the past ten years at a rapid pace. This industry now represents 19% of the total potato crop. Although the SA processing industry is growing fast, it is still behind in size when it’s compared with the potato processing industries in developed countries.



The growth in the industry can be ascribed to the following factors:

 

  • The expansion of the fast food industry;
  • The higher average income of the population;
  • The enlargement of processing facilities; and
  • The rapid rate of urbanisation

 Currently the industry uses 380 000 tons of fresh potatoes of which 320 000 tons are contracted from producers and the balancepurchased from the fresh produce markets. These volumes represent the formal figures of the processing industry, taking into account that a substantial quantity of the potatoes bought by individuals also ends up in restaurants, café’s and other fast food outlets in the form of french fries.

 

The largest part of the processing industry is made up of processing potatoes into french fries, frozen and chilled products and crisps.  Besides these processing categories, the industry also produces mixed vegetables (canned and frozen), baby food, reconstructed potato products and a small quantity of potato starch.

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