Distrisur is expecting a long season for several reasons: the first is that the crop in Germany, its main market, is very late and this could result in harvesting there being carried out mid-June; the second is directly related to the fact that sowing took place at different times in the various Andalusian areas and a significant amount of potato was planted after 15th January. “The very early and very late sowings that have occurred this year will mean the season will be extended”, comments Pepe Porcel, the Company Manager.
In any case, this company from San José de la Rinconada will start exporting their Agata variety in the third week of April via the García Lax company, a Lidl supplier. Approximate sales volumes will reach a daily total of 450 tonnes.
Nonetheless, despite this known potential, Andalusian potato still has additional advantages in comparison with the spring crop from Israel, because Andalusian crops can reach their final destination in 84 hours when transported by lorry and with all their freshness in tact.
“Some time ago, Spanish potato was put on a footing with Egyptian potato, but our high quality standards and the implementation of GlobalGap have changed this perception. Nowadays we are considered as having the same high quality as that of Israel potato.”
It is estimated that Distrisur sells around 16,000 tonnes to Germany, 6,000 to Spanish Industry, 2,000 tonnes to industry abroad and around 3,000 tonnes of fresh produce remains in the domestic market. Potato destined for industry abroad is split between Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands with the Agria and Fontane varieties.
As far as varieties are concerned, Madeleine de Agrico will be sent to Germany for the first time for fresh consumption. Ditta is another variety, which although scarcer in terms of volume is nonetheless top quality and already quite well known. However, the King of varieties, which is increasingly in demand year after year in the German market, continues to be Agata. “Actually it unleashed quite a bit of controversy in supermarkets because it was said to have no flavour, but the Agata that had no flavour was the one from France that had been in cold storage for eight months and this is not at all like the new Agata potatoes from Seville”. It is extremely important to differentiate seasonal produce because if it is not fresh, its flavour and other organaleptical qualities can change, even though it looks fine and we can only identify it by its label.