3 August 2001
Consumers set pace for potato growers

By FARMERS WEEKLY staff

END user needs are making potato growers more demanding of seed producers, according to new research.

A significant proportion are prepared to pay a premium for high-quality seed with good customer back-up and service, claims the British Potato Council.

This emerged from the 2001 BPC seed satisfaction survey of 381 levy payers, representing 15% of the national area. A similar exercise was conducted in 1999.

Since then communications between growers and suppliers have improved, says the BPCs Alasdair MacLennan.

But diseased seed is still most often blamed for failures in hitting target markets and there is still work to be done in meeting customer needs, he said.

In the past five years an alarming 64% of growers have been dissatisfied with the seed they have bought, he says.

Inability to specify treatment or source premium grade seed remains a bone of contention, the survey suggests.

But buyers also have a responsibility to manage stocks correctly after delivery and before planting, says Mr MacLennan.

“A common source of deterioration is due to incorrect storage during this period,” he said.

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