“The demand for potatoes on the French market is moderate at the moment. The operators are covered by contracts from the start of the harvest and consumption is still relatively low this month at the national level,” explains Antoine Geysels of Top’Pom. “Regarding the production, yields are lower than predicted in the Champagne-Ardenne region. This has helped maintain a good price level for three weeks since the balance between offer and demand has not been destabilized.”
In export, there is some demand. “The Spanish and Italian clients have been buying nice quality batches for several weeks already.”
Since the beginning of the campaign, Top’Pom offers mainly the Agata and Colomba, as well as some firm flesh varieties. The company progressively makes new varieties available for sale, such as the Monalisa, Liberta, Orchestra and Caesar. Antoine adds that uprooting requires a lot of precaution on the parts of the producers this year. “The dry matter content of the tubers is higher than usual, which makes uprooting very tricky.”
During the sanitary crisis, the demand for potatoes on the fresh market was abnormally high. Antoine explains that today, consumers have generally returned to their old consumption habits. “On the other hand, the European market for processed potatoes is still heavily impacted. The crisis caused restaurants and fast-foods to close, which are the main output for potato processing manufacturers. Trade on the free market is almost non-existent. The sector is getting organized to find outlets for the surplus of contracts.” In the coming weeks, Top’Pom hopes for a revival of the French consumption in the short term and a campaign with reasonable prices both upstream and downstream for the sector.