Switzerland is running out of potato chips due to Covid and poor summer weather

Switzerland is running out of potato chips due to Covid and poor summer weather
Chips. Photo by Mustafa Bashari on Unsplash
2021’s mild summer has another victim: the humble potato chip.

As if the 2021 winter couldn’t get any worse, it’s now hitting us in the chip pocket. 

Because of 2021’s constant rainfall and general poor weather, Switzerland’s potato harvest is disappointing. 

When combined with a 30 percent increase in demand due to people sitting at home eating chips rather than going to restaurants, a chip shortage looms in Switzerland. 

Chips manufacturers do not have enough potatoes – and will need to import at least 20,000 tonnes from abroad. 

Chip companies say it is at this stage impossible to determine just how serious the shortage will get, with the impact hitting the shelves in December. 

READ MORE: How Switzerland plans to beat its butter shortage (again)

“The exact extent of the shortage can only be quantified at the beginning of December, when the harvest is stored,” Anita Binder, press spokesperson for Zweifel told Watson. 

Switzerland’s complex import rules which seek to protect local farmers made the import a little more difficult, with special permission required from the Federal Office for Agriculture. 

“So far this year we have been able to source around 90 percent of potatoes from Switzerland,” said Binder, but the import quota is likely to increase. 

“We imported the remaining quantities from European countries such as Portugal, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. Over the long term, we import a maximum of five percent from abroad. “

Binder said that while they are hoping chip lovers will not be too disappointed this year, it could become a sign of things to come. 

“Climate change can generally endanger the availability of agricultural raw materials” she said. 


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