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Javier Boceta, from Meijer Ibérica: "The first early new potato harvests in Seville will start next week"

"The factories are eagerly awaiting the launch of this new potato variety"

In just a few days, the early new potato harvest will start in Seville. Together with the one from Cartagena, this is the first European potato of the season. "The harvest will start with the loose-skinned potatoes, which are mostly intended for Eastern European markets, as soon as the machinery can enter the fields, which are currently very difficult to access after the rains," says Javier Boceta, from Meijer Ibérica. "The rest of the potatoes will have to wait a bit longer and everything will depend on the weather; however, I think that in 10-15 days we'll be able to start harvesting the potatoes from the shorter cycles."

Regarding the expected quality, "it should be quite high," he says, "and the campaign will be very good in terms of production. Last year was a very difficult year because we were hit by severe frosts that delayed the campaign, but this year we have not had any problems of the sort. It is true that it rained a lot a few weeks ago, but the water has not caused excessive damage and, if we think of the issues caused by the scarcity of rains last year, we can only say that this water has had a mostly positive impact."

The new potato from Seville offers both consumers and the processing industry an alternative to potatoes from storage, which are mostly of French origin, and which have dominated the market for months. "We are lucky that Spain is the main customer of our early new potatoes. We have managed to get domestic consumers to see the difference between the new potatoes and the ones from storage, and they are waiting for them to arrive in stores. Potatoes from storage have been expensive recently, so everything points to us having a campaign with good demand and reasonable prices," says Javier.

"We are testing the Lady Jane variety on a large scale"
Meijer Ibérica is working to adapt to Spain and Portugal's market needs, with varieties selected to meet the demands in both countries. "We have breeding fields here in Spain, unlike other potato seed houses that test the varieties in central and northern Europe, and we only offer producers the materials that guarantee their success."

"This year, the only variety that we have continued to test on a larger scale is the Lady Jane, with which we have been working for four years now. We are convinced that this is a variety with a great future. It is suitable for both the processing industry and for consumption, since it has a higher dry matter content than other varieties of the same segment, which is very important for the industry. It also stands out for the intense yellow color of its flesh and a very high yield in the factory. The factories, in fact, are eager for us to launch this variety."

"At the agricultural level, its great advantage is that it doesn't get secondary growths and is not sensitive to deformation. It is also very productive. Moreover, it is a hybrid variety with resistance to mildew, which is very reassuring for the producer."

"Another very important feature is that it is easy to wash and has high tuberization. Now that all chains have released special potato formats for frying, this variety is going to make a great contribution, because it does not suffer oxidation when frying in oil."

The Lady Jane is bound to become part of the Meijer Ibérica seed potato range in the coming planting seasons. This year, in fact, the supply of seeds has been under pressure everywhere in Europe. "Eventually, although with difficulty, we have been able to supply our customers without any serious problems. This year, we have grown in the northern area of Spain with the Jazzy variety, which has become popular for the microwave segment in the domestic market."

"In the past, the potatoes for microwave formats came from Seville and Cartagena. After that, the industry switched to French potatoes, but this year, the chains have bet on this variety in order to reduce dependence on imports."

For more information:
Meijer Ibérica S.L.
Av. de Jerez 60,
41014 Seville, Spain
Tel.: +34 954 611626
[email protected]

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