Moulton Chapel company understands versatility and volatility of potato market

Jenny Stanberry and Rick Limb check Marfona baking potatoes on the packing line. Photo: SG090813-116TW

Jenny Stanberry and Rick Limb check Marfona baking potatoes on the packing line. Photo: SG090813-116TW

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Jenny Stanberry never sees two seasons the same in her job supplying mainly baked potatoes throughout the UK.

Jenny, managing director of Tulipland Potatoes at Moulton Chapel, says she had what she calls a “once in a lifetime experience” last year, when their product was 80 per cent French as a result of UK growing conditions.

“This year, the crops are looking a lot better,” says Jenny, who with Rick Limb, who looks after sales and procurement, is supplying something like 500 to 600 tonnes of finished product to the market each week.

Generally, potatoes are bought direct from local growers, predominantly baking potatoes, although the company also supplies pre-packs, washed salad potatoes, the ready meal sector and frozen markets.

The crop is brought in, graded and washed before being sold throughout the UK.

Jenny, who joined her late father in the business 27 years ago, says: “There are not many markets we don’t go into.”

While there is still a way to go, Jenny is confident that this year will be a great improvement on 2012.

She says: “Growing conditions are a lot better, and generally crops are looking a lot better so prices are reflecting that. It looks like we may be exporting potatoes because I think they have had poor growing conditions in Holland and Germany.

“You never see two seasons the same in this job. It’s in the laps of the gods.”