The Valladolid company is committed to the “Agria” and “Yellow Lady” varieties to continue offering Spanish and Castilla y León potatoes to consumers
With the potato campaign completed in Castilla y León, it is a good time to take stock of 2020 and analyze the sector’s forecasts for 2021. We do it with one of the people who knows it best after many years of being part of it: Juan Manuel Coello, Director of Operations of Patatas Meléndez.
“It is clear that Covid-19 has marked this campaign and most likely it will mark that of 2021. We can say that the balance, for us, can be described as positive, although the quality of production in some areas has been conditioned by the weather. Even so, from Patatas Meléndez we have been able to fulfill our commitments with the distribution and contracts with the farmers ”, assures Coello. In this sense, the spokesperson for the Valladolid company installed in Medina de Campo has highlighted that despite the complexity of the campaign, in Meléndez all the potatoes have been paid above production costs, guaranteeing the profitability of the crop to the producer .
To date, they have sold about 70,000 tons of potatoes from our Community. Patatas Meléndez is promoting the sale of the segment for frying with the varieties “Agria” and “Lady yellow”, 85% from plots grown in the Community. During the winter months, they bet on the conservation potato from Castilla y León until the new potato campaign from southern Spain begins. “We respond in this way to the demand of consumers, who are clearly committed to the productions of here, our land and our farmers,” explains Coello.
“At the end of December we began to market potatoes from the second harvests in the Murcia and Andalusia regions, which will overlap with the start of the new potato campaign, which this year is expected to start in April.” The objective, says the Director of Operations of Patatas Meléndez, is to guarantee new potatoes throughout the year.
When asked how he sees 2021, Coello answers that “inevitably, we see it with uncertainty due to the health crisis, but the farmers with whom we work, who are dedicated to quality potato for washing, are encouraged. Above all we need to work together, plan plantings, organize start-ups … Right now, Patatas Meléndez offers stability and security through its agreements, something that those who dedicate themselves to cultivating the land are grateful for ”.
“Lately we have observed that the tendency to plant early has grown a lot, since there is a belief that the July potato usually has better prices in Castilla y León, but we are seeing that we have to organize it well to avoid bottlenecks in the market, ”says Coello.
Before closing this interview, the Director of Operations of Patatas Meléndez highlights that “R & D & i and the quality policy of our company have to start from the field, where we continue working with farmers testing a multitude of varieties, looking for new areas of culture
“The clear bet for 2021, says Coello, is digitization from the source, a project in which we involve farmers in Industry 4.0, as the first link in the value chain and the starting point of traceability that is seeks to preserve with this process. Through our project we will achieve a greater professionalization of potato cultivation ”.