The Maltese import potato season has started again at Potato Trader Altena in Veen. "Last year with the first lockdown, the entire market for imported potatoes was in a downturn. I see it going a lot more positively for this season," says Kees Schouten. He expects to receive another 50-60 truck loads from Malta this year.
"It has been very dry in Malta. As a result, there will be slightly less kilos this year, but the potatoes are very nice," says Kees.
While it was initially expected that the growers in Malta would plant less potatoes, the acreage has remained virtually the same as last year. Altena has been working with the Maltese potato company Quality Fruit & Vegetables for many years, where Raphael Scerri is in charge.
"We are happy to start with these weather conditions. I look forward to the season positively. It is of course a strange time, but people cannot eat out and they cannot use their money, so who knows, they might have more money to spend on new potatoes. There is already quite a bit of demand and supermarkets and street traders are currently selling quite a few potatoes," says Kees.
On Wednesday, three more cars will arrive from Malta with the Santé variety, followed next week by the Milva variety, after which the first Alphas will also arrive. "The supply of new potatoes isn't huge yet either, so I see great opportunities. Last year the Santé potatoes already had a great flavour, but this year they are just as good.
The volume of domestic potatoes suitable for washing is currently thinning out considerably. I therefore expect that we will see normal prices this season. Last year the potatoes were dirt cheap, but I don't see that happening this year. They shouldn't quite cost a euro either, but ten or twenty cents is no good," the potato importer observes.