On Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 November, Agrico presented two new varieties during an intimate ‘Meet & Greet’ event at its breeding and research farm, Agrico Research in Bant. For many years, Agrico has organized a well-attended varieties show, which takes place in early November, during which it presents its latest growing results to interested parties all over the world.
COVID-19 has led to temporarily taking a slightly different approach this year, with Agrico’s Meet & Greet. This smaller set-up gave Agrico the opportunity to welcome its customers in person, in a responsible manner, with a focus on seeing and meeting everybody.
The varieties were, of course, a focal point of the Meet & Greet. In the greenhouse at Agrico Research, fifty varieties were on display for the visitors, with an extra focus on the spotlight varieties and the two new Agrico varieties.
New on the Variety List
The following two new Agrico varieties have been added this year to the Dutch Variety List:
Jolene can justifiably be called a ‘multi-purpose’ variety. With its long-oval tubers and clear smooth skin, this variety always presents itself exceptionally well. Jolene is perfect for fresh home fries. Whether baked, boiled or included in other dishes, there is no doubt that consumers will be happy with the result. At Agrico, we have already seen wide interest in this variety from our customer base.
The ‘Next Generation’ variety, Fenna, is a ware potato with a firm cooking type, which was mainly developed to be grown conventionally with a decreased use of chemical products, as well as organically. In 2021, the prevalence of late blight was exceptionally high. Fenna’s resistance gene turned out to be one of the strongest this year and almost no late blight damage was found in this variety this year. Fenna also has a beautiful, smooth skin that is easy for consumers to remove and, after correct preparation, is delicious in a wide range of meals.
Both varieties are grown by Agrico Research, earning the company the traditional breeders statues presented by general director Jan van Hoogen.
The spotlight varieties consisted of the following three young promising Agrico varieties:
Chateau is a true Salad potato and there are very few of these. The segment is traditionally characterized by a preferably long-oval shape, which is ideally slightly curved. The slightly curved shape is considered to be a quality feature by consumers and denotes a true “Salad. This variety has cooking type A, which means very firm. The variety must also have a fine cell structure and, of course, a delicate taste. That is because salad potatoes belong in the higher potato segment.
Twister is a variety with an unusual development process. The variety was bred at a fully organic farm owned by Mr Te Winkel. This breeder, affiliated with Agrico, focused on improving Agrico’s variety portfolio for organic growing. Late blight resistance was therefore also a must and early ripening a clear advantage. Both of these traits are represented in Twister and the variety was therefore also positively received. Through the introduction of the ‘Next Generation’ concept, this variety also attracted the interest of conventional growers in other countries. When the variety was introduced in, for example, Italy it was found to have a significant yield potential. These results significantly increase this variety’s sales opportunities and Agrico anticipates a great future for Twister in Europe.
Paradiso is a ware variety which is particularly suitable for growing in countries around the Mediterranean Sea. Within this segment, the variety Arizona is currently Agrico’s most important asset. However, this variety lacks the beautiful skin and longer tuber shape that would lead to even higher sales. Paradiso does, however, have these two characteristics, meaning there is room in the same markets as Arizona, and there are many of these markets.
On behalf of Agrico, general director Jan van Hoogen looks back very positively at the Meet & Greet. “In the two recent years we have missed the face-to-face contact with our customers” Van Hoogen explains. “We therefore wanted to seize the opportunity to meet them. Maintaining our relationships with our customers is very important to us and this was therefore our primary goal during the Meet & Greet. We feel that this mission was definitely accomplished!