"I've never seen the potato market this hot," says Robert Voskamp of the Dutch company Rola Fresh. "Small potato prices currently start at €1.70 and even reach above €2 per kilo. Those are unprecedentedly high prices. The biggest shortage is of red-skinned potatoes; you can't find those anywhere in Europe."
"Last year's potato harvest was very disappointing, and this year, it's delayed all over Europe. We're importing most of our potatoes from Israel, with a few trickling in from France. They're nice potatoes, but most must still be harvested," Robert explains. "We're also still importing old potatoes from France, but that's becoming harder, quality-wise. Still, for lack of a better option, the market's accepting them."
"Harvesting still has to get underway in Northwest Europe. The potatoes look good so far, but harvesting, across the board, has been delayed. Here and there, there are local potatoes on the market, but most are very loose-skinned and not yet available in volumes. That shortage will continue in the coming month," expects the trader, who sells potatoes throughout Europe and also serves overseas markets like Dubai via Dutch exporters.
For the French potatoes, Rola Fresh works with Pom'Alliance. "They supply the big retailers directly; we sell to everyone else. Many of those are hospitality-related customers, but we also serve supermarkets. For example, we supply many Norwegian stores with loose potatoes. Jazzy and Amandine are our most popular varieties. The overall downward ware potato trend doesn't affect our company; our potatoes sell well year-round. Even a country like Ukraine is, despite the war, still ordering plenty of potatoes," Robert concludes.