Farmers may have to cut the volume of Jersey Royal potatoes grown in a season if the Island’s biggest agricultural crop is to maintain its premium status, an industry leader has said. Paula Thelwell reports for Jersey Evening Post that the Jersey Royal potato has dominated the UK early season fresh produce market for over a century – but farming developments in the potato sector, stiff competition from other agricultural regions and changing consumer habits threaten its market lead.
Mike Renouard, business unit director of the Island’s biggest grower and exporter, The Jersey Royal Company, says reinforcing the potato’s premier credentials is the best way to secure its future. He said: ‘We need to maintain a premium and it is my belief that in the future perhaps we need to grow slightly less and not chase down the big volume promotions which drive down the price, but maintain a premium above the other higher yielding less flavoursome varieties.
‘We also need to continually remind the consumer that this is a freshly harvested spud that is seasonally produced in some of the most fertile soils in the British Isles and, yes, “buy British” as we are part of Britain and so our carbon footprint is much lower than many imports.’
Depending on weather conditions that affect the crop, around 30,000 tonnes of Jersey Royals are exported to the UK over a five-month season.
Source: Jersey Evening Post. Full story here
Photo: Lifting potatoes near Les Varines. Courtesy Rob Currie