Corona is forcing the potato trading houses to think about a different set-up of the traditional variety shows this year. A number of companies opt for an event online, others have decided to postpone the shows for a year. In this series on Akkerwijzer, the trading houses talk about their showpieces and challenges. Today in Part 11: IPM Potato Group. “We are eagerly awaiting the developments surrounding Brexit.”
IPM is a leading seed potato company in Ireland and the UK’s largest exporter of protected varieties. The company is keeping a close eye on the developments surrounding Brexit, says operations manager Erik Appeldooren. “We grow a large part of our potatoes in England and Scotland. In order to prepare for a hard Brexit, we have brought a large part of the production of mini tubers from Scotland to the European mainland. We are now eagerly awaiting what politicians will decide. ”
Brexit is not the only challenge for IPM. Like many other trading houses, the company is noticing the consequences of the corona crisis for seed potato cultivation. “You notice that many countries buy less seed and that the prices are lower than in recent years. The mood is not very optimistic. We have already prepared the cultivation plan for 2021, but we have adjusted it a bit for the countries to which exports are not going well. ” There are also bright spots, says Appeldooren. “We hope to export as many potatoes as possible outside the EU before Christmas and the last containers to Iraq have just left.”
Sensation and Maverick
IPM has 30 commercial potato varieties, of which Appeldooren wants to highlight the varieties Sensation and Maverick. Sensation, bred by Sjaak Temmerman, is a variety that is resistant to wart disease and almost resistant to virus, he says. The variety is increasing in acreage quite quickly in countries such as the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands. “Sensation is an early potato and a nice addition to the table potatoes segment,” says the operation manager.
Maverick is a high-yielding variety, mainly for the French fries sector. The potato is drought resistant, ripens naturally and has a long dormancy. The large tuber size and shape ensure a good conversion to fries, according to Appeldooren. “Maverick is also suitable for fresh use and has a good culinary profile.”
Local cultivation projects
With a view to the growth of the world population, IPM has implemented a strategy to further develop local cultivation and put it on the map in countries in South America, Africa and Asia. “We have several seed potato production fields all over the world. For example, we have set up our own projects in Kenya and India, for example, to create added value for local cultivation. These projects are now coming to fruition, ”Appeldooren concludes.