TRADE AND MARKET I NG Fruit Logistica: tech and trends in the international fresh world Nedato explores opportunities for convenience ‘A difficult and expensive year’. That’s how Mohammed Semega of Nedato describes the current marketing season. ‘Fortunately, we’ve been able to serve all existing customers well and the quality of the potatoes so far hasn’t been too bad. But it’s not a year to explore new markets’, he says with a sense of understatement. Nedato nevertheless shows a wide range of products at its stand, in order to remain in the picture with foreign buyers. Here, too, you’ll find convenience products such as a carton of baby potatoes for the microwave. And, of course, the Pommily organic line. ‘Organic is in demand everywhere, also in countries where consumers normally go for the lowest price. The growth continues,’ ‘Polish seed sector wants to professionalise quickly’ Poland presented itself at its stand with the entire potato chain, from in-vitro plants to supermarket packaging. The country wants to professionalise its potato cultivation and will make the use of certified seed potatoes compulsory as of 2020. ‘That’s why, this year, we’re putting more emphasis on planting stock than ever before’, explains Jerzy Wrobel, pointing to the decoration of the stand. He is the owner of the potato trading company Agrosad, which is active in both seed and ware potatoes. According to Wrobel, Polish growers currently only use certified seed potatoes in 15 percent of all cases. This has to change, partly because the sector is struggling with ring rot, which is bad for the country’s export ambitions. The Polish potato sector is therefore undergoing a process of professionalisation, emphasises Wrobel, who is also active in the national potato organisation. ‘Within our organisation, we’ve set up various committees that will examine the actions needed in each sub-sector and link up existing initiatives. A lot of good things are already happening, but too much is still fragmented. Our seed potato sector needs to grow fast in the coming period. We can’t do that on our own. We also very much need the HZPCs and the Agricos with their varieties and their knowledge. At the same time, we’re showing here that the Polish breeding sector isn’t idle either.’ 32 Potato World 2019 • number 2 Pagina 31

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