Cornish new season potatoes

Posted: 25 April 2012
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This week, Tesco customers in Cornwall are being offered an early spring treat, with new season Cornish potatoes available earlier than ever.

The mild winter and early spring in the south west helped local potato growers get their crops off to a great start and some have already begun harvesting this season's ‘Earlies'.
Cornwall is generally warmer than the rest of the UK due to southerly location and its proximity to the Gulf Stream, but planting potatoes as early as Christmas in anticipation of an early spring crop is not without risk. A cold wet spring or sharp frosts can delay or damage the crop, so suppliers will be keeping an eye on the weather over the next few weeks.

Chris Minter, Tesco local marketing manager for the South West said: "It's fantastic that we've been able to get Cornish new season potatoes into stores so early. Branston has been working hard with some great Cornish growers to get these crops grown, harvested and into Cornish stores as early as possible. We're always keen to promote fresh local produce and our customers in Cornwall will be among the first in the UK to enjoy Cornish new season potatoes while they're at their best!"

Selected Tesco stores will be showcasing the Cornish loose new potatoes on a special Cornish branded free standing display unit. This will be complemented by bunting, posters, T-shirts and recipe leaflets to attract attention to the display and encourage customers to buy the new season local potatoes.

The new season Cornish crop will be supplied to Tesco by a group of seven growers, from approximately 2,000 acres of prime potato growing land mainly down in west of the county. The south-facing slopes, close to the ‘Golden Mile' are renowned for their mild weather, so the growers there can really make the most of their natural environment. These growers supply Tesco annually with around 30,000 tonnes of potatoes, all carefully planned and co-ordinated by Branston from its site in Somerset.

(Picture shows Richard Meecham, Senior Field Services Manager from Branston with Lez Barlow, who has just been voted Tesco Fresh Produce Manager of the Year, from the Tesco store in Wadebridge.)