Suffolk's new potato season is underway
EAST Anglian farmers were feeling chipper this week as the new potato season reached simmering point. Woodbridge potato farmer James Foskett encouraged younger consumers to savour a spud as he celebrated his first harvest of the year with a tour of the farm.
EAST Anglian farmers were feeling chipper this week as the new potato season reached simmering point.
Woodbridge potato farmer James Foskett encouraged younger consumers to savour a spud as he celebrated his first harvest of the year with a tour of the farm.
Visitors watched as new potatoes were harvested, and saw for themselves the new potato growing process from field to fork, rounded off with a tasting of freshly-dug Vales Emerald potatoes.
Mr Foskett, one of 615 potato growers in the East of England, uses supplier Greenvale AP to deliver Suffolk potatoes into the major supermarkets.
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Over 34,000 hectares of potatoes are grown in the East of England, a fifth of these in Suffolk.
But the Potato Council warned that recent research has shown it is the older generation who are driving the current growth in potato sales.
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“We must encourage young mums to eat more potatoes or the long term implications for the British potato industry could be significant,” said Mr Foskett.
“Highlighting the work we do growing and harvesting potatoes is a key way of doing this so I'm glad that we were able to show visitors the work we do here at James Foskett Farms Ltd.”
The Potato Council described the crop as “a simple solution” to family mealtimes, providing a tasty, healthy meal in minutes.
It points out that one kilo of new potatoes, costing as little as 77p, can be used to make up to five meals, after their survey showed some young mothers with young children knew little about the new potato season and claimed it was not important to them.
The council's study revealed that four in five mothers of young children questioned didn't know that the first British new potatoes are harvested in May, and 60% said they had no idea where new potatoes are grown.
While 23% of mothers said they like supporting British farmers, over a third with young children claimed the new potato season was not important to them.
A portion of new potatoes provides 66% of an adult's recommended daily amount of vitamin C, and potatoes are also a natural source of energy, which provides fuel for the brain and the body, the council pointed out.
Mr Foskett said: “As well as being a vital part of the Suffolk and British economy, British potatoes are great value. A portion of new potatoes costs around just 13p and can be used to make so many easy family dinners from stir fries to salads.”