Despite a difficult start to the season, Cornish growers have defied the elements to deliver the nation’s first mainland new potato crop of the summer. Famed for their thin skins and slightly sweet flavour, Cornish New potatoes are now being harvested and arriving on supermarket shelves up and down the country – where they will be available until early August.
But a combination of the Beast from the East and a dismal Bank Holiday weekend left many growers in turmoil earlier this year, with lengthy delays to essential field work and crop planting.
Potato supplier Branston, which delivers fresh and ready prepared potatoes to retail, wholesale and food manufacturing customers from its sites based in Somerset, Lincoln and Scotland said the punctual delivery of this season’s crop – despite the challenges caused by the wet winter and late spring – was “testament” to the hard work of growers.
Penny Francis, Branston’s head of category, said: “It’s fair to say that the particularly turbulent start to the year we’ve experienced weather-wise has presented an unusual challenge to our Cornish growers.
“Rather than having their early new potatoes planted in January and February, they really have been at the mercy of the weather and have had to time planting the seed potatoes very carefully whenever the land has been dry enough – and not blanketed under a layer of snow.
“It’s a testament to the hard work, commitment and incredible intuition of our growers and agronomists that collectively we have been able to overcome this and still deliver on time a fresh, tasty crop for consumers to enjoy.”