Waitrose & Partners is set to be the first major retailer to sign up to the UK ‘Robust Potato Pledge‘, which will see the group move away from the use of copper-based fungicides on organic fresh potatoes in order to combat late blight. According to a report by European Supermarket Magazine, the group aims to achieve this by growing and selling only resistant or ‘robust’ organic fresh potatoes by 2026.
The initiative is said to complement Waitrose’s other leading work in regenerative agriculture and ambitions to restore biodiversity in rural settings. By 2026, the pledge partners will jointly work towards the goal that all fresh organic potatoes grown in the UK are robust varieties, in order to make organic potato cultivation more sustainable.
Waitrose aims to set the goal of increasing the proportion of Phytophthora resistant and other robust potatoes to 100% of its entire fresh organic range within five years, provided that these varieties meet the required quality.
Hugh Blogg, horticultural advisor at the Soil Association, said: “It is great to see so many retailers signing up to this pledge, which we hope will help to unite supply chains in the organic potato sector.”
Source: European Supermarket Magazine (ESM). Read the full report here
Photo: Courtesy ESM