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     Andalusian early potatoes
    Despite suffering a downward trend in recent years and the general crisis, the sector of the Andalusian Early Potato, encompassed in Asociafruit, expects a fruitful campaign.

    Although the reduction in area slows down to around 10-15% over last season, the production forecasts are very positive in terms of size, texture and flavour. This outstanding offer and the expected arrival of the early potato to European markets, due to European consumers appreciate the nutritional and gastronomic value of early potato against stored potato, are the two main reasons of this hopeful forecast.

    “Unfortunately, in the Spanish market the situation is different, all we have to work together to show to the consumers the special values that make different the early potato” according to Javier Boceta, technical manager of the early potato sector of Asociafruit. And he argues that “when the European consumer rejects the stored potato without culinary values, in Spain we have put up with a heavy price war, plumping for selling stored potatoes with lower prices. This situation in Spain is already a problem for the distribution chains so that they could be losing demand of a worthless product.”

    This union of supports to promote the early potato facing stored potato, and the confidence in the Spanish consumers to recognize a product with higher quality, make the sector has good feeling about the next campaign. Moreover, unlike the gourmet products, potato is considered a key ingredient in the daily kitchen, so it is not expected that the global crisis affect adversely the demand for fresh potato with a very competitive price. According to Javier Boceta, “it is possible that due to crisis a family can´t afford to eat shellfish or caviar, but the potatoes are a low-price product, and a fried egg with early potatoes is tastefully different than with stored potatoes which turn into black for sugars accumulated in the storage”.

    Opposite to the food industry´s common point of view, for the sector of early potato in Asociafruit supermarkets are not the enemy, they are allies. The sale of stored product with low prices is negative for supermarkets on a long term, because the consumption of lower-qualified potato reduces its demand. According to Javier Boceta “our strategic opportunity is to develop stronger links between the different stages of the production chain to communicate, without expensive costs, cooking values of our fresh product.”

    Also the prominent role of Asociafruit in the project of the national potato sector should be emphasized, being the promotion of the values of Spanish potato one of the priorities of this project.

    The producer and exporter sector of the Andalusian Early Potato is composed of 15 companies, encompassing more than 70% of the Andalusian potato production. Its export effort is evident as it already represents 95% of the exportation of Andalusian early potatoes to European markets.

    Source: Andalusian Early Potato / Asociafruit