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Caithness Potatoes Nederland: 'New French-fry varieties must excel in at least one characteristic, but in fact have two good ones.

Jan-Eric Geersing, Caithness Potatoes Nederland, Emmeloord: 'New French-fry varieties must excel in at least one characteristic, but in fact have two good ones.

Every year in the first full week of November, the European potato breeding and seed trading companies operating in the Netherlands present their new varieties and latest breeding results to their global customer base.

Many of these new varieties are intended to be used some day for the production of French Fries. All participants at what we here at PotatoPro call the 'Potato Variety Presentations in the Netherlands' (of doodgewoon rassenpresentaties in het Nederlands) have one or more contenders in this segment.

This raises the question:

“Is there room for all those new French-fry varieties?”
That is the question Aardappelwereld (World Potato Magazine) asked the participating companies last year. And thanks to our brand new partnership agreement with them, we can report you the answers they got in this series of articles!

Caithness Potatoes Nederland, Emmeloord

Jan-Eric Geersing, Caithness Potatoes Nederland, Emmeloord:

“Yes, there's clearly room for new French-fry varieties, but I'd add right away, they must excel in at least one characteristic, but in fact have two good ones.”

“And the problem for a grower is that the second characteristic is not always immediately available when a variety's introduced.”

“For example, you have an upcoming white-fleshed variety with strong Phytophthora resistance, but the market potential isn't there or not yet, because yellow-fleshed is the most sought after at that moment. The trick is to introduce the right plus characteristic in combination with a sales opportunity.”

“Our Cammeo is a striking example of this. It's a young variety with strong Phytophthora resistance. Its high yield makes it attractive to both organic and conventional potato growers.”

“This variety was first meant for the table potato market, partly because of its fine presentation and taste. We knew that you can fry a nice chip from it, but we didn't give it any priority.”
(Click to enlarge)

The Caithness potato variety Cammeo is ideal for Organic Production due to its outstanding blight resistance (including R8). Cammeo is an early maincrop variety providing good yields of medium-size oval tubers, suitable for all markets, including French Fries

Jan-Eric Geersing:

“Now it turns out, given the competition, that in the absence of better French-fry varieties in the organic segment, the French-fry quality of a Cammeo is very good. So, at this point, we've been too strict in the selection.”

“The interest in the variety as suitable for French fries is receiving extra support from the covenant signed last year by the chain. It's attracting the attention of the signatories.”

“Furthermore, the conventional market now also wants planet-proof products. That extra positioning of the Cammeo as French fries is a complete surprise for us, but nevertheless a pleasant one.”

“So you see that there's always an opportunity for new French-fry varieties that excel in something and especially when they're good at something else as well.”

Potato Variety Presentation Caithness Potatoes Nederland

Caithness Potatoes Nederland holds its presentations from November 6 to 8 at:
Banterweg 10
The Netherlands