Europe, UK, Ireland, Fresh/ Table, Production/Agronomy, Promotion/Marketing, Retail

Early potato growers in Britain look to new markets to survive

Pembrokeshire potato growers are looking to focus their early spud crops on the local Welsh market and also expand into chipping and baking markets to drive customer demand.

Competition from early growers in England and the ability to store “baby” potatoes over the winter has hit the Pembroke growers and they are having to work hard to market their crops.

One big grower says cold storage has largely killed the early trade, as Maris Peers from East Anglia can be stored and sold as baby potatoes in the spring, while Suffolk farmers growing under fleece can lift from mid-June, squeezing the Pembrokeshire early season.

Major packer Puffin Produce in Haverfordwest is fighting back, tapping into the Welsh supermarkets to highlight local sourcing, while some growers are spreading the season to lift from June until September.

Grower numbers in this south-western tip of Wales have dwindled to just over 20, but now they are growing for a range of outlets, from the traditional very early, “loose-skinned” market, through to salad potatoes, chippers and bakers.

Full report on FWI here

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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