British potato growers have planted an increased area of emerging varieties to serve the fresh packing market, amid reports of increased levels of ‘on-contract’ supermarket supply where prices are agreed in advance.
However, Maris Piper comfortably remains the most planted potato, with treble the acreage of the next most popular fresh packing variety.
Nectar and Melody are the varieties which have increased in area the most this season. increasing their area by 1,000 hectares (ha) and 700 ha respectively.
AHDB Potatoes Market Intelligence Analyst, Amber Cottingham said: “The packing market has seen another increase in area this season, with acreage intended for processing declining once more. This may be due to a reported increase in contracts offered in the packing market as retailers seek to reduce the financial fluctuations they encounter in meeting demand.
“There continues to be some changes in the top 10 list, as newer varieties designed to suit today’s needs – both at an agronomic and consumer level – continue to increase in popularity. Likewise, some of the biggest losers this year are older varieties, which are being replaced by newer alternatives.”
Results were announced in the AHDB Potatoes Area by Variety Estimate.
Overall the area planted that is intended to supply the fresh retail sector has increased for the second year in a row to an estimated 38 per cent of the total planted area in Great Britain, while the area planted to serve the processing sector has decreased, also for the second year running, to 29 per cent.
Amber Cottingham said: “Area changes can be closely linked to the price paid the previous season. For the packing sector, this has likely had an impact, as many prices were favourable during the 2015/16 and much of the 2016/17 season, up to the point when planting decisions would have been taking place.”
The estimate is produced using anonymised and aggregated data from AHDB levy return forms, which is analysed through an ISO controlled process.
Source: AHDB Potaotes
The European paper and board industry welcomes the European Parliament report by the rapporteur Christel Schaldemose MEP on implementation of the Framework Regulation on Food Contact Materials. In particular, the paper-based packaging value chain supports the strong call by the Parliament to develop a measure specific to the paper and board materials.
Paper and board is the most sustainable packaging material in Europe. In food application paper-based packaging is number one with 13.8 million tonnes annually.
A well-functioning internal market is key for the paper and board industry, its customers and consumers alike. Yet, until now, specific food contact measures have been developed for only three materials (plastics, ceramics and regenerated cellulose) as well as for active and intelligent packaging. In the absence of common EU rules diverging national measures are now seriously hampering the internal market. These inconsistencies have created legal uncertainty and risks for the entire value chain, and hinder consumers’ confidence in food safety.
The paper industry has always prioritised consumer safety and has set world-class standards for producing safe packaging materials. But it cannot replace the role of the legislator in setting a level playing field and European-wide levels for safety.
In recent years industry has heavily invested in scientific research and is conducting ambitious work on supporting future legal measure thereby extensively upgrading its guidelines for food contact material. We can build upon the latest scientific knowledge, industry state of art practices and European Food Safety Authority’s approach to ensure a high level of consumer protection across Europe.
Good news for consumers!
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