New factory boosts potato flake output
POTATO growers have a further outlet for reject and out-grade tubers following the opening of Greenvale Foods £5m processing facility at Wisbech, Cambs.
The factory converts fresh potatoes into dried flake for snack and ready meal manufacturing. A single European snack-food company will take most of the output.
Annual production of 50-60,000t will compete with growing imports from the US and Europe, says general manager Stephen Ward. "We are not competing with established flake producers in the UK such as McCain, but with imports that are being drawn in by the strong £ and growing demand.
"We are taking 80-100t of potatoes a day. In the near future we should be able to handle 140t daily."
Intake will be 80% contracted through Greenvale AP, 20% free buy. Most produce will be sourced from growers in Norfolk, north Cambs and south Lincs, with price at a small premium over stockfeed.
Varieties and potato grades are being tested for suitability. "It can make a big difference. You do not have to ask which variety is coming through the line, you can tell from the processing," Mr Ward notes. *