Potato farmers to give buyers a helping hand

3 February 2012

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5 February 2012 | Adam Leach

This year it will become easier for buyers to check the quality and carbon emissions associated with the spuds they purchase, the Potato Council has said.

Unilever has worked with Aberdeen University to develop a tool to help farmers calculate CO2 emissions. This will enable them to provide their customers with emissions data to help give a full assessment of their sustainability performance.

Anton Haverkort of Plant Research International, said: “CO2 costs per tonne of potato vary between 70kg and 300kg, mainly depending on yield, nitrogen fertilisation and irrigation. Such footprints will increasingly become part of the information required by buyers - their companies want to know these values to reduce future footprints.”

In addition, MySpuds, an online database, will provide buyers with information on the quality of Scottish suppliers produce. Farmers that sign up to the site will have their crops inspected for quality and the results will be published online.

John Kerr of Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA), said: “MySpuds is an online database which will help suppliers improve quality in the supply chain and allow them to meet individual customer [buyer] requirements better. Suppliers too will be able to provide findings to customers, allowing them to check seed quality.”

Haverkort and Kerr will discuss the issues in more detail at the World Potato Congress in Edinburgh this May.

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