TRADE AND MARKET I NG Fruit Logistica: supermarkets continue to aim for sustainability Touquet Savour: ‘We want to remain a Ferrari dealer’ At the French pavilion there are always numerous examples of beautiful, luxurypackaged table potatoes. Cultivation and trading company Touquet Savour from the northern French Essertaux is an example of a company that specifically focuses on that market. ‘The decline in potato consumption is not our main concern’, says Alexis Dequidt when asked. ‘If people buy fewer cars, car manufacturer Ferrari isn’t immediately worried either. His customers will keep coming back. We, too, are also still positive about opportunities, but there are challenges as well. For example, we must ensure that we continue to excel in terms of quality and sustainability.’ One of the developments the company has to deal with is the popularity of organically-grown produce. It’s not easy to trade in that. Until 2010, you had specialised companies that served supermarkets with organic produce. Nowadays, suppliers like us need to be able to offer a complete package. That’s quite tricky, because of the rules for separate processing to avoid contamination. So we buy in our organic potatoes.’ What also stands out is the large number of varieties the company offers. Is that what the French consumer wants? He thinks for a moment before he answers. ‘On the one hand, seed potato companies are pushing their varieties a lot. But you also want to keep your shop window as attractive as possible. Select Potato take on Divaa for Caithness tinations are enthusiastic because of the Satisfied faces at Caithness, from left to right: Jelmer van Meer (Select Potato), Jan Eric Geersing (Caithness Potatoes), Richard de Koster (Select Potato) and Gordon Smillie, Mike Mcdiarmid and Robert Doig from Caithness Potatoes in Scotland Accompanied by his Scottish colleagues, Jan Eric Geersing of Caithness Potatoes puts his signature to a partnership with Select Potato. Select Potato will take on the expansion of the Divaa variety in the Netherlands and in Germany. ‘The variety has been well received throughout the world. We only still have a gap close to home’, Geersing explains this step. In the Netherlands, the white flesh colour plays a role, which makes the market introduction of the potato more difficult. Still, there’s room for the variety, is the belief of both parties. ‘Many export desstability and versatility of the variety. In southern Europe you see that it’s replacing the Kennebec because of its higher yield. It also presents well, with its white skin, which makes it stand out. In addition to being a large baker, it is suitable for the fresh market and it also makes excellent fries. Another important plus point is its dormancy. The variety can be stored until April/May at a temperature of 8 to 9 degrees Celsius and you can wait until much later with gassing.’ Working with third parties is not unusual for Caithness. This is how the Belgian Binst distributes the Divaa seed in Italy. In southern European countries, the variety is doing well on somewhat heavier soils and it’s rapidly gaining ground. ‘Why should we develop our own markets if someone else has good contacts there already?’, says Geersing, who is visibly happy with the new collaboration. (From left to right): Jelmer van Meer (Select Potato), Jan Eric Geersing (Caithness Potatoes), Richard de Koster (Select Potato), and Gordon Smillie, Mike Mcdiarmid and Robert Doig of Caithness Potatoes in Scotland). Compare it to a men’s fashion shop. You see the most beautiful shirts displayed, but 95 percent of men leave the shop again with a blue or white shirt.’ Potato World 2018 • number 2 21 Pagina 20

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