01 December 2020
Boosting sales in the frying segment with Agria and Lady Amarilla
NEGATIVE weather conditions have combined with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, to take their toll on potato harvests and demand in the Spanish region of Castile-Leon, but profits have still been assured for growers it has been claimed.
In some areas, the weather conditions have had a negative impact on the quality of production, according to Juan Manuel Coello, Operations Director of Patatas Meléndez, a supplier of fresh potatoes from the region.
"Without a doubt, this campaign has been marked by COVID-19, and that of 2021 will very likely also be affected. Still, we can talk of a positive balance. At Patatas Meléndez we have been able to meet our commitments when it comes to the products' distribution and our contracts with growers," he said, stressing that all potatoes have been sold for prices above the production costs, guaranteeing the crop's profitability for the growers.
Spanish potatoes all year round
During the winter months, Patatas Meléndez works with storage potatoes from Castille-Leon until the new potato season starts in southern Spain. "In this way, we manage to meet the consumer demand, given the clear interest on local productions," says Coello. "At the end of December, we started marketing potatoes from the second harvests in the regions of Murcia and Andalusia, which will overlap with the start of the new potato season, which this year is expected to begin in April." The aim, says the Operations Director of Patatas Meléndez, is to guarantee the supply of new potatoes all year round.
To date, the company has sold around 70,000 tons of potatoes from Castile-Leon.
Patatas Meléndez is also boosting sales in the frying segment with the Agria and Lady Amarilla varieties, 85% of which come from plots in the region.
When asked about the prospects for 2021, Juan said: "Inevitably, there is uncertainty because of the health crisis, but the growers we work with, who are devoted to the production of quality potatoes for washing, are optimistic. Above all, we need to work together. Right now, Patatas Meléndez is offering stability and security through its agreements, and this is highly appreciated by those devoted to the land's cultivation.
"Lately, we have noticed that more people are planting early, as there is a belief that the July potato usually reaches better prices in Castile-Leon, so we need some good organization in order to avoid bottlenecks in the market."
Source and photo: freshplaza.com
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