Now that the potatoes from the old harvest are no longer available, producer and packer Terroir d’Origine is waiting impatiently for the new harvest. “The demand is high, but the offer is limited at the moment. The situation should improve from next week, when we will start harvesting in Beauce,” explains Ludivine Thenard, head of sales and development within the company. Terroir d’Origine will start the campaign about two weeks earlier than last year, if the weather is favorable.
“Variety seeks distributor”
Terroir d’Origine is specialized in the Regina variety, among others, for which it has the exclusivity in France. The 2020 production is estimated at 12,000 tons. It is expected to go up to 20,000 tons within the next three years. Today, the company is looking for one of two partners who would like to develop the marketing of this potato in France. “We are targeting wholesalers, but especially supermarkets.”
According to Ludivine, the Regina will help supermarkets differentiate themselves. “Nearly all stores in France offer the same potato varieties. They are always firm flesh varieties like the Charlotte or the Amandine. The Regina really offers something else. The target is the consumer who looks for authenticity, combined with taste.” The Regina is already available at Auchan, but in small quantities.
A garden potato
The Regina is not long enough to be classified as a firm flesh variety in France, but it is in Germany. There are several ways this variety can be used in the kitchen: steamed, baked, au gratin, mashed, rissolée or in a tartiflette. “It is like a garden potato that can be used for anything, except for fries,” explains Ludivine. “The Regina also has several advantages on the shelves: it does not easily turn green and it does not get sprouts. It requires very little anti-germination treatment. We indeed treat it with mint oil.”
The Regina is produced in Beauce and in the Hauts-de-France. It is harvested in September. Depending on the stocks available, it can keep until the end of June.
Ludivine adds that the range is not defined. “We will be able to define it in close collaboration with potential buyers. Several types of packaging are possible, as well as delivery in bulk. We also have various calibers, washed or unwashed potatoes.” At the moment, Terroir d’Origine markets the Regina variety, especially via wholesalers who supply restaurants. The variety is sold under the Blondie brand.