Nickerson Direct celebrates seed potato supply half century

Seed potato supplier Nickerson Direct is celebrating more than 50 years in the supply of seed potatoes to British farmers.

The business was created in the late 1950s when founder Joseph Nickerson began importing potato seed from the Netherlands.

The company's seed potato business expanded dramatically in the 1960s and during 1969 Nickerson's UK-based seed production topped 11,473 tonnes.

The same decade also saw the firm introduce the red-skinned maincrop variety Desiree and, with it, Nickerson produced the first "grower guidelines" for the variety.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Nickerson continued to offer UK growers a wide range of varieties including Wilja, Marfona and Romano, as well as pioneering techniques to produce disease-free seed potatoes.

The 1990s saw the company introduce both Fianna and Picasso to the UK market and it continued its quest for health and seed quality with the production of high-grade mini-tubers in Scotland.

Nickerson potato business manager Paul Hart said: "We are very excited about future developments. During 2009 we have expanded our team of seed specialists into the West Country and East Yorkshire, and Nickerson Direct will also be working very closely with one of Europe's largest seed potato breeders on two recently-introduced varieties."

The company will be exhibiting at the Newark LAMMA show during January (hall 5, stand 509).


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