The potato market is fairly calm at the moment. Prices are currently falling somewhat, because demand is declining. “It has hardly been winter in the recent months. The temperatures are much too high, so the demand is not that great. Real winter temperatures are a lot better for the sale, ”says Stefaan Van Elven, from Van Elven Agra. “Despite the dry summer, the quality of the potatoes is still very good. The situation is positive in itself, but it can always be better."
3 generations "Van Elven". From left to right: Petrus, Cyriel, Stefaan and Fons
“We have had a lot of rain for weeks now and it looks like we will get rain again in next week. If the bad weather continues, we need old potatoes for a longer period, because we cannot plant new potatoes. During this time in last year, we had already planted new potatoes, but that was also quite exceptional. We usually plant new potatoes around March 20th, but I don't know if we're going to make it this year, "says Stefaan.
Due to the ban on chlorpropham, the European potato sector faces a major challenge. “We have already started using alternative resources this year. That way we can gain experience and so far the resources have worked well. However, the alternative means is three times as expensive as the old product. It would be nice that we can earn back those costs with higher prices, but I am doubtful about that. The contracts with the industry have not been sufficiently adjusted to cover the costs," Van Elven concludes.
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