Producer eyes sales success for new spud

Rows of young organic Maris Piper potatoes.
Rows of young organic Maris Piper potatoes.
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A leading vegetable supplier in Lincolnshire has created a new version of a popular potato.

Growers for Produce World, which employs several hundred people in Peterborough, Sutton Bridge, Wykeham, Swinderby and Chatteris, have created an organic version of the versatile Maris Piper potato.

Gemma Hodgson, fresh produce buyer at Waitrose, said: “Maris Pipers are one of our shoppers’ favourite varieties.

“So it seems a little strange to be talking about innovation when it comes to such a well-known potato. Our growers have been working hard to make an organic crop a reality as Maris Pipers are a particularly tricky variety to produce so we are particularly excited to see them on our shelves for the first time.”

Produce World’s agronomy manager Simon Faulkner said: “When growing organically we can’t use fungicides to prevent blight. This particular variety is late maturing and prone to that disease, but thankfully this season there has been low blight pressure.”

He added: “At the same time we had to plan carefully to get just the right location that provides good fertility and availability of water, while reducing the risk of blight. This means avoiding growing our organic Maris Piper in close proximity to other potatoes.”