“The future looks bright for the potato trade in Asia. I have lived there for 12 years and seen how the space reserved for potatoes on supermarket shelves keeps getting bigger,” reports Romain Charpentier. He sells French potatoes on the Asian market for Pom’Alliance. “For us, Asia is the ultimate new market; the demand for potatoes is constantly increasing.”
Romain reports that Pom’Alliance started working in Asia slowly, but surely. “The potato is a product subject to a lot of competition. We currently export to Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam. Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia are already good clients. We are waiting for the Philippine market to open up as well for French potatoes.”
Reopening of quotas
According to Romain, Indonesia has huge potential. The Indonesian government recently reopened the import quotas for French potatoes. “There are 250 million Indonesians who are eating more and more potatoes, so the government decided to reopen the quotas in order to meet the demand.” Following this development, Pom’Alliance started prospecting again in Indonesia. “We are looking for importers to build strong relationships with.”
Regarding the varieties that are exported to Indonesia, the main variety will be the Agata. “It is not expensive and lends itself to various cooking methods. Varieties such as the Gourmandine or Chérie also have potential; they are firm flesh potatoes that can be cooked, fried or steamed.” The potatoes are sold in mesh bags of 2.2 lbs for supermarkets, but also in bulk. Pom’Alliance offers potatoes in boxes (27.6 lbs), paper bags (33.1 lbs), mesh bags (55.1 lbs) and more.