Gerard Schenk, Agroplant, Medemblik: ‘In the past few years, we’ve also invested a lot of time and energy in the development and marketing of French-fry and crisps

Gerard Schenk

‘Agroplant has been active in the export market and the table segment for many years now. In the past few years, however, we have also invested the necessary time and energy in the development and marketing of French-fry and crisps varieties. This is simply a strong growth market in the world, which means that the demand for varieties with a wide range of specifications is also increasing. You have to think of variations in earliness, flesh colour, shape, pest and disease resistances as well as stress resistance. Not every breeding company has a ready-made answer to every issue, but we’ll be able to provide one or more solutions for the points mentioned. Incidentally, the desire to offer French-fry and crisps varieties isn’t so much because we want to enter those markets per se, but rather to meet the demand of our regular customers. In their home market they are increasingly being asked for processable varieties. In order to be able to develop these varieties, Agroplant is working together with Fobek breeding company where they already have the necessary experience in developing varieties in both market segments. The trick for us is to provide Fobek with the precise variety criteria that our customers need, so they get exactly what they have in mind. The breeding outcome that’s currently available is still very young, we don’t yet have a ready-made solution for both French fries and crisps in the trays. What we do have are numbers that we think might turn into a variety. One of these is a variety that’s very suitable for processing into French fries, the BU-09-524. It’s red-skinned, has slightly-yellowish flesh, and gives a high-harvestable yield for both seed and ware potato growers. Thanks to its smooth and round shape, any crisps manufacturer can also achieve a high return here.’

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