Several key UK retailers have pledged to sell disease resistant organic potatoes, boosting sustainability and farm resilience for producers. As Luisa Cheshire reports for Fresh Produce Journal, organic certification body the Soil Association developed its ‘UK Robust Potato Pledge 2021’ in a bid to help growers move away from potatoes that are susceptible to blight.
Signees to the pledge have agreed to favour organic spuds that have been bred to be blight resistant, rather than selling more well-known varieties – helping the organic potato sector transition to 100 per cent robust potato breeds over the next five years, the Soil Association said.
Waitrose, Riverford, Abel and Cole, Agrico, Sarpo, Skea Organics, RBOrganic, and Produce World have all signed up to the pledge, which was launched today (13 October) at the Organic Grower’s Alliance’s Organic Matters Horticulture Conference.
Phil Sumption, Organic Growers Alliance, said: “I am delighted to see the launch of the Potato Pledge, and to see the UK following in the footsteps of the highly successful potato covenant model in the Netherlands. The potential benefits to growers of higher yields and less sprays, and to the environment, are massive. There are many great blight-resistant varieties out there with good culinary properties acceptable to consumers. It is fantastic to see the sector joining together to remove the resistance to resistance.”
Source: Fresh Produce Journal. Read the full story here
Photo: Fresh Produce Journal