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Potatoes seen as healthy product in SwedenAlthough some regions were affected more than others, Lars Elofson from Svensk Potatis said that overall there was not too much damage from the cold weather during April/May.
"Most of Swedish potato production, around 40%, takes place in the Southern region of Skane. The cold weather did mean that there were less than normal quantities available at the start of the season in May, which caused prices to rise and now stabilise. After May, both supplies and prices went back to average and we expect fair prices through to mid-June." shared Lars Elofson from Svensk Potatis.
The potatoes are in good condition and with the current weather conditions, growers don't expect any issues this season.
Solist is the the most common early varieties, followed by other popular varieties later on in the season such as Magda and the Rocket. Solist is most common in the early summer, and are washed and packaged before being sold to the consumer. The variety is also popular with organic producer because it is fast growing which helps decrease the chance of the potatoes developing blight.
"Organic production continues to increase in Sweden, and I suspect it will increase by around 3-5% this season. The tricky thing about organic production is that there are big profits for those who succeed, with twice as much return compared to conventional crops, however only around half of the crop typically makes it. I think that the situation will only improve with the constant development of more varieties which are more resistant to disease and fast growing. " said Lars.
Over the last 10 years, potato consumption in Sweden has been stable, if not slightly increasing, compared to a majority of countries during the same time period, who saw potato sales drop. The Swedish consumer consumes around 83kg per capita of all potato products (including processed) and around 45 kg per capita of table potatoes.
"We have been actively working on educating consumers about the nutritional value of potatoes and most people in Sweden view them as a healthy food. This came with lots of help, from food fairs, chefs, commercial advertising, paid articles, along with social media like Facebook and Instagram," Lars continued,
"I even brought the campaign into my personal life, by going on an all potato diest for 2 weeks, where I lost 1/2 kilo per day. I wanted to prove that potatoes have all the nourishment you need to survive, along with being low in fat. I prepared the potatoes differently each night so that I never got bored and ate 10 different varieties. I never felt like I was missing anything and they kept me feeling full. I do have to admit though that I did add a beer to the diet too every now and again, no need to be too extreme!" Lars chuckled.
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