Greenvale could soon give growers the opportunity to produce their new Mayan Gold variety, which is likely to be available in retailers before Christmas, the firm’s technical director Paul Coleman told FWi at Potatoes in Practice.

“So far, it has all been done by Greenvale production, but the forecast volumes are such that we will have to move it out to growers.”

The variety, a phureja species, has an exceptional flavour, he said. “It has proved popular with high profile chefs, such as Gordon Ramsay and Antony Worrall Thompson.”

Retailers were also now interested in stocking it. “It should be available before Christmas.”

But it wasn’t easy to grow, which was part of the reason for keeping it within Greenvale production so far. “We wanted to learn to how to grow it first, learn from our mistakes, so we can give growers good advice.”

Yields were typically only 50% of conventional varieties, with a high cost of production, but it does sell for a 400-500% premium over conventional varieties, he said.