DRIVEN TO SUC-SEED!
Meijer Potato are amongst the world’s leading specialist potato breeders. Family owned for over 100 years, they operate in over 60 countries worldwide, which includes a key operation here in the UK. They have many varieties that are used in all sectors of the global potato trade including crisping, fresh and factory processing potatoes, and of course the UK fish and chip market – their early variety Accord being a regular in chip shops for almost 20 years now.
Over the coming months in Chippy Chat we will be exploring more about the journey of a seed potato from lab all the way to chip shop, including input from chip shop owners too.
For the team at Meijer Potato, it all starts with knowing what it takes to make a great tasting chip.
Only then can the chipping potato variety of the future be created for your fish and chip shop.
From there starts a long process where the R&D team over in The Netherlands translates your wishes into varieties through a focussed crossing program. Every seed produced from a crossing is unique and will have to prove its worth during a rigorous 6 year-long selection process.
The selection process is really like a massive game of guess who but using high-tech laboratory equipment and field trials to whittle down the seedlings until they are left with only varieties that are ideal for you.
All seedlings will have to prove their added value for both the chippy and the grower, because on–farm performance affects the price in the bag!
From Seed to Frying Range
Once named, the variety is passed onto their dedicated band of growers who produce the potatoes that make your great tasty chips!
- 600,000 individual seedlings are bred every year
- They go through a 6-8 year testing and selection process
- To find the variety that works for you!
Max Tarneberg International Product Manager from Meijer said: “I love fish and chips, and always ask the chippy what spuds they are using . In my role as a UK based product manager, I ensure your specific needs are being voiced to the team in The Netherlands because we breed varieties specifically for your market. We strive to give you all a perfect fresh chipping potato that offers you more – reliable, sustainable, and of course with a delicious taste.
Oliver Boutwood from Isle Of Ely Produce said – “We recognise how important the work that Meijer Potato undertakes is to the fish and chip sector. They seek to face the challenges of change in the climate, environment, and market we live and work in. We value our relationship with them as they continue to breed potatoes that work perfectly all the way through the chain to the end user.”
Engagement with growers, producers, chip shops, consumers and employees is a key part of their process. The world is changing, the ways in which we grow, produce, cook and eat are constantly evolving. We look to adapt our breeding to meet these challenges and deliver consistency, quality and enjoyment.
Our vision is clear – we are passionate about developing the best potato varieties for the entire potato supply chain. This is how we want to contribute to a better world.