Council defines 'new potatoes'

Potato Council produces a definition to stop retailers selling and labelling old potatoes as 'new'.

The Potato Council has produced a definition of "new potatoes" that it hopes will be adopted by the industry following complaints from the public that the term was being misused by retailers.

An investigation by trading standards officers found that potatoes were being sold as "new" up to seven months after harvest.

Officers from South Ayrshire Council took 24 samples from six retailers earlier this year and found that each included potatoes harvested "quite some time" before going on sale.

One sample from Tesco had been harvested in August last year, but was still described as "new" while on sale in March. The council told the Potato Council, which agreed that a standard definition was lacking.

Head of marketing Caroline Evans said: "Our description of a 'new potato' means customers know they're enjoying potatoes at their seasonal best."

Tesco has agreed to abide by the definition. But Sarvari Research Trust director of research Dr David Shaw said: "Supermarkets are unlikely to stop calling a set-skin small potato anything but a new potato, no matter how long it has been stored."

Definition: What makes a new potato 'new'?

Under the Potato Council's agreed definition, "new potatoes" are those:

- defined as a first or second early in the British Potato Variety Database or the European Cultivated Potato Database;

- with an "immature, thin, or scraping skin";

- destined for retail sale without storage.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Can UK fresh produce come out of Brexit ahead?

Can UK fresh produce come out of Brexit ahead?

UK production horticulture can become more profitable under one possible Brexit scenario, while other more drastic scenarios will lead to only minor losses in profitability, in contrast to other farming sectors, according to a new report by levy body AHDB with Agra CEAS Consulting.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

How should agri-tech research for fresh produce function in a post-Brexit UK?

How should agri-tech research for fresh produce function in a post-Brexit UK?

One area affected by the uncertainty around Brexit will be the ongoing development of agricultural technology, seen by many as essential to retain Britain's productivity and competitiveness in fresh produce along with other farming sectors.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon