Earlier this month, Breeders Trust – an organisation looking after the interest of potato breeders – revealed a major fraud, concerning the switching of at least 200 tons of potatoes meant for consumption, to seed potatoes instead.
Seed Company Mts. H. te Luttelgeest in the Netherlands was reportedly caught red-handed when adding the yield from a lot of consumption potatoes to a lot of seed potatoes.
Breeders Trust had been monitoring a potato field for months, after it had been established this summer, that it was driven in with a rogueing cart, but had not been inspected by the Dutch Inspection Service (NAK).
It was also noticeable that the planting distance did not reflect the usual planting distance for the cultivation of consumption potatoes.
Breeders Trust describes how they consciously waited until the field was harvested, to be able to track the plot’s yield. In this way, Breeders Trust was led to the company Mts. H. te Luttelgeest with more than 100 hectares of seed potatoes, among others, the ‘french-fry’ varieties Fontane and Innovator.
The investigation into the alleged cheating focused on these varieties in particular.
The NAK was then called in and took appropriate action by following the loads to the storage location during the harvest process. This led to the potato grower in question being caught in the act of labeling and adding to the seed potato lot.