Seville is starting the campaign with good harvest quality for its new potatoes and yields that are within the normal range
This is how Pepe Porcel, manager of the Sevilian company Distrisur explained it to this magazine. “We have had a season with little rainfall; therefore, we won’t have a record yield per hectare, although the quality is very correct.”
The company from Seville estimates that its foreign sales will reach a volume of around 24,000 tonnes, which will virtually all go to the German market.
The Spanish production, which has had warm months of March and April and good temperatures, will reach the markets slightly earlier than usual (the first harvests in Seville will take place from the 29th of April and will reach the Central European markets on the 6th of May). “We will have new potatoes that are ready with perfect ripeness and I am sure the consumers will like them.”
At present, due to the scarce European potato harvest, the stocks are low and the prices for what is on offer are relatively high. “Conservation potatoes are beginning to give problems; the market is hungry for new produce, therefore the expectations are very favourable at the start of the campaign,” the executive explains.
This situation has meant that new potatoes from third countries such as Israel, Egypt and Morocco have been well received on European supermarket shelves. Spain is one of the countries that have received most potatoes from these sources. And, accordingly, Porcel indicates that “the need to change to new potato consumption can be observed. Really, I am convinced that we have created a market niche that consumers will not forget.”
The current important volumes of new potatoes from other sources are opening up the supermarket shelves to Spanish productions. “At the beginning of May, Israeli potatoes are already flagging and Egyptian ones have the same smoothness as ours, therefore the circumstances are all in favour of Spanish new potatoes.”
“More than competition, I think that these countries are opening up the way for us in the large reference chains,” the executive states.
The province of Seville, the most important producer in Andalusia seems to be keeping its surface area stable at around 10,000 hectares, after a few years where it seemed that its production was moving towards el Campo de Cartagena.