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Colin Galbraith - Moorhouse and Mohan

"People will have look at which sweet potato varieties they grow"

Spanish sweet potatoes have ended a little prematurely according to Colin Galbraith from Moorhouse and Mohan, "We had hoped they would go on till the end of January, but the keeping quality was not good. This may be due to the weather during the growing season. We have been bringing more form US to supplement this."

Galbraith sees demand for sweet potatoes increasing in the coming years, meaning that more will have to be imported from other countries such as South Africa. "They have been growing sweet potatoes there for years but only a local variety Bushbok. It is a white fleshed sweet potato, until now they have not grown the orange fleshed varieties in any volumes. Some South African growers have been talking to retailers so volumes from there will increase."

According to Galbraith they are also doing trials in the Ukraine. The Green Team, a Ukrainian company of which Galbraith is a member of the board has trialed sweet potatoes and they were surprised by how well it worked. The company will now go forward with a second year of trials. "What is becoming more obvious is that people will have to look more closely at the varieties grown especially for processing. As size and shape is important," explains Galbraith.

The market in the UK is buoyant at the moment, but not particularity highly priced. Christmas seems to have increased demand for sweet potatoes, through the whole market fresh as well as processed.

"Sweet potato is very interesting as demand is picking up in Europe and also in Eastern Europe. Sweet potatoes were even in a Ukrainian supermarket, although the sweet potato does not appear on the Ministry of Agriculture's list of products so there is no categorisation, I'm not sure how they got there as there is no category to import them," said Galbraith.

Moorhouse & Mohan have recently been filmed by a crew from the Discovery Channel, who followed the journey of the sweet potatoes right from the US growers to the UK market. The documentary which will be aired next year, will feature the packhouses, ships being loaded and the sweet potatoes being trucked from the port.

For more information:
Colin Galbraith
Moorehouse & Mohan
Tel: +44 1354 602860

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