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A Royal "headache" for exporters

A Royal

Wednesday 19 February 2014

A Royal "headache" for exporters

The Island’s biggest exporter of Jersey Royals is battling to catch up after two weeks of extreme weather put planting well behind schedule.

Staff from the Jersey Royal Company Ltd are working flat out to get the famous spuds in the ground and ensure there is a continuous supply for UK supermarket shelves.

Director of Sales and Marketing William Church said they have only planted a quarter of what they should have by this point in the season because wet conditions had prevented people getting out on the land.

Mr Church said the early outdoor crop, which was planted on the Island’s steep côtils at the beginning of January, has all gone in quite well. But he said the company will have to carefully manage them to make sure they can export a constant supply when the UK crops are still in the ground and shoppers are willing to pay more for their new potatoes.

He said: “It’s a bit of a headache because we have a window when we have no competition from the mainland, they have been massively impacted too, but our geographical advantage is being able to plant early. Our window of opportunity is in April and May when English new potatoes aren’t in the shops.

“It takes on average 12 weeks for a crop to come to maturity so the fact that there has been very little planted over the last couple of weeks means that at the start of May when there is usually more volume available to lift and sell, it will still be very limited. We have got to have continuous supply, we’ll cover it, but traditionally we would run a lot of promotions in May but we’re unlikely to have the same volume of potatoes.” 

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