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Potato Update

22 July 2018

As you are probably aware, we have been working our way through a very difficult growing period for English produce. In what has been the hottest summer since 1976, our staple grown favourites really have taken a hit. None more so than the humble potato. Farmers were late planting crops due to a dreadfully wet February and March, and with the current heatwave many farmers are falling behind in their harvest cycle by a good 3-4 weeks. As a company we have done our very best to alleviate any seasonal issues, unfortunately though, we could not combat them all. So what is the next stage?

Today we have received our very last batch of old season potatoes (variety Agria). We feel the time is now right to switch to new season potatoes, primarily for quality reasons. New season is here, GREAT! Or is it?

So we will move onto a variety called Accord. This is one of the earlies varieties of chipping potatoes. It is important though that we understand how the recent weather issues are going to affect these new crops.

  • Size: we normally work off a 65mm plus. Due to lack of rain the new crops have not grown to the sizes we are normally used to and we will be looking to work potatoes around the 50mm / 55mm size.
  • Shelf life: As the skin has not set properly yet, we will be looking to carry a minimum amount of stock as possible.
  • Colour : As with any new season potato we will see that the potatoes won’t be that golden crisp colour that we are used to. The colour will improve though very quickly as we get into the new season.

Other recent issues we have had include the cut size / shape on the Hand Cut Chips. This really should be rectified as soon as we move onto new season. With only new season potatoes being used both the shape and size should be perfect.

From a pricing point of view we expect to see increases, and if we don’t see any rain soon then we’d not expect that price to come down this side of the year. The crops we are about to move onto should last to the end of September, with us then heading into the main season, but no rain soon could hold some major repercussions for the upcoming season.

Salad potatoes should be fine as well as small sized bakers 60 – 80 count. Bakers 40’s and 50’s count could become short towards October time.

In terms of quality of the bakers we should be fine but do expect to see superficial defects such as scabbing. This is purely down to a lack of moisture and trust me we must be considerate of this or we will not have any potatoes!

Please contact our team if you have any concerns & for regular updates.

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Bolton Site
Oliver Kay Produce
Produce House, Britannia Way, The Valley
Bolton, Lancashire, BL2 2HH

Tel: 01204 385463



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Wednesbury Site
Oliver Kay Produce
Unit A, Kings Hill Park, Darleston Road
Wednesbury, West Midlands, WS10 7SH

Tel:0121 622 8837

Bidfresh Limited trading as Oliver Kay.  Registered in England
Company Registration Number: 04227047  VAT Registration Number: GB 173 9880 60

Registered Office Address: Units 10-14 Cedar Way Industrial Estate, Camley Street, London, N1C 4PD