TRADE AND MARKET I NG Fruit Logistica: supermarkets continue to aim for sustainability Agrico presents the next generation of potatoes Agrico places its Phytophthoraresistant varieties in the spotlight this year. During the traditional reception on the first day of the trade fair, Director Jan van Hoogen focused on Agrico’s strategy on this point. After decades of breeding work, the trading company now has a fully-developed range of Phytophthoraresistant varieties. Carolus, Alouette, Twinner, Twister, and the recently-introduced Levante variety and the new Nofy starch variety. ‘Thirty years ago, we started to cross wild resistance genes. We now have a new generation of varieties that can make an important contribution to a sustainable food supply’, says Van Hoogen, while images of breeding work and Phytophthora trials are being shown on a large screen. ‘We’re a trendsetter in this and, of course, we want to show that to the world. Our front runner is Carolus, a versatile potato that has Natura-Crisp: ‘nothing but The Italian vegetable processor Rago has up to now been a supplier of fresh salad mixes. We’re currently working on a ‘natural crisps’ line, consisting of potatoes, carrots and turnips. The special thing about the Natura Crisp is that Rago doesn’t use any additives in the preparation of the crisps. ‘It’s just potatoes, including the skins’, says Gaetano already proven itself. We now have several segments of resistant varieties available and many more will follow in the years to come, because we’re not out of the woods yet. Our next step is to combine several resistance genes in one variety.’ Packaging in grass cardboard The trend towards sustainable packaging materials has not escaped the German company Scheuffeln. The paper producer started supplying paper and cardboard recently that are partly made of grass. ‘Grass grows fast and grows everywhere, and is therefore a wonderful renewable raw material’, says Key Account Manager Michael Lueghausen. The company receives the grass fibres in the form of pellets from set-aside plots that are mown a few times a year, especially for this purpose. Young grass can’t be used because it hasn’t got enough structure. The company aims to buy the raw material as locally as possible, within a radius of 100 km, again from the sustainability perspective. In terms of strength, grass fibre can’t fully compete with wood fibre. That’s why it’s mixed in a 50-50 ratio. Strong enough to put 5 kilos of potatoes in a paper bag? That should be easy, according to Lueghausen. Although they haven’t been on the market long, he immediately notices a great deal of interest from the large supermarket chains. ‘They’re really interested in this kind of development.’ The calculated environmental performance of grass compared to wood fibre is: 90 percent less CO2 emissions, 50 percent less water, 50 percent fewer chemicals and 50 percent less energy. According to Lueghausen, the price of grass paper is ‘slightly higher’ than standard packaging materials. 16 Potato World 2018 • number 2 Pagina 15

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