17 February 1998
Produce what consumers want, Tesco tells spud growers

A LEADING supermarket adviser has accused potato growers of selecting new varieties according to production likes and dislikes, rather than to meet consumer demands for appearance, taste and texture.

Sandy Norman, a specialist technical adviser for Tesco, told a potato conference in Dublin that farmers were being driven by the potential of high yields and good disease resistance.

“All our commercial decisions are based on what out customers tell us in response to market surveys and test-marketing operations,” he said.

Tesco is setting up supply chains for its products, including potatoes, which it wants to source from local growers. It invested £630 million just over a year ago in the acquisition of a supermarket chain in the Republic of Ireland.

An Bord Glas, Irelands Horticultural Development Board, has produced a report calling for the Irish seed potato regulatory framework to be modernised and for the implementation of a new strategy to ensure the development of long-term breeding capabilities.

  • The Scotsman 17/02/98 page 28