The West

Chips are down for Galati
Chips are down for Galati

Myalup potato grower Tony Galati is in hot water once again over WA's potato marketing regulations.

Mr Galati faces prosecution by the Potato Marketing Corporation (PMC) after the group accused him of planting too big a crop.

Under PMC regulations, Mr Galati, of the Galati Group, was entitled to plant 51 hectares on his Myalup property this season.

According to the regulator, the Galati Group has 92ha of potatoes in the ground.

If found guilty Mr Galati could be forced to surrender his crop to the PMC, face a $5000 fine, or have his grower licence revoked.

The Galati Group is also facing questions about its potato export licences.

According to the PMC, in the past two years Mr Galati was granted export licences for 500 tonnes of potatoes but exported just 20 tonnes.

"The balance probably leaked into the domestic market. It certainly wasn't exported," PMC said in a statement.

Mr Galati could not be contacted for comment but spoke out last week about his view of PMC.

"The (PMC) is incorrect - they are not producing the product like they should," he told ABC radio.

Mr Galati said the PMC would claim his potato crop "over my dead body".

The PMC met Mr Galati and his brother, Vince, in August.

The Galatis said that 5.6ha of their crop was unsuitable for production and was dug up and used as cattle feed.

Vince Galati further explained the Galati Group forgot to lodge two applications for seed potatoes and export potatoes, which would account for the overplant.

The PMC revised its overplant accusation from 40.85ha to 35.69ha after the meeting but sought further evidence to back up the group's claims.

PMC issues grower licences based on supply and demand, with a view to ensure consumers receive quality produce at reasonable prices.

Mr Galati has hit out at the corporation in the past and has called for the deregulation of the potato market.

The PMC said Mr Galati's actions were disrespectful of the entire industry.

"Overplanting robs many growers who work within the system of their just returns," PMC said.

"The overplanter is taking advantage of everyone else's good work and treating them with disrespect."

Negotiations between the Galati Group and PMC continue.

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