High prices for potatoes, in the middle of harvesting season


Despite good figures, yields are low, so profitability is not guaranteed (Agronoma).

The first week of May began in Andalusia (mainly in Seville, but also in Cordoba, Cadiz and Huelva) the harvesting campaign of early new potatoes which, together with those harvested in the Cartagena field, is the first European potato to reach the markets in significant volumes to replace the conservation potato, almost all of French origin.

As reported by Asociafruit (Association of Companies Producing and Exporting Fruit and Vegetables of Andalusia), the potato is not escaping the consequences of drought, which is marking a harvest season characterized by low yields widespread.

Although they point out that the latest plantings in January may result in higher yields, the reduction in production is estimated at 35% compared to a normal season.

The scenario is that this lower harvest is coupled with the lack of product in Europe, traditional destination of Andalusian exports, and in France. In addition, there is also a lack of product in the domestic market, which is leading to high demand resulting in high prices.

Good prices without guaranteed profitability

However, they warn from Asociafruit, these good prices do not guarantee a good result for farmers, since "they will see their productions greatly reduced and, in addition, they will have to compensate for the significant increase in production costs", which have multiplied exponentially compared to previous campaigns. In addition, it should be noted that the latest rains have slowed down the harvest, but "if normality is recovered soon", it is expected to be finishing the campaign in mid-July.

In order to keep the high demand sustained, and claim the quality and benefits of the new Andalusian potato, Asociafruit, which brings together 80% of the producing companies in the region, have spent years warning of the need to raise public awareness of the benefits of the new potato compared to the conservation potato, which is mostly imported from France and has spent months in cold storage.

potatoes and tomatoes

Best qualities

Within this project, Asociafruit collaborates with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development to inform consumers of the qualities of the Andalusian new potato, which are none other than better flavor, freshness and proximity. To this end, advertising spots will be broadcast, information will be provided through a specialized website and recipes will be published.

A good campaign would mean a respite for Andalusian farmers in a sector that has suffered a decline in surface area in the last thirty years. According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture compiled in 2022, from 257,000 hectares of crops registered in Spain in 1992, to only 63,500, a reduction of 75%.

In the case of Andalusia, of 23,500 hectares cultivated in 2005, now barely exceed 9,000 hectares, figures that, highlights Asociafruit, "have a direct impact on the volume of employment. Specifically, this fall in the cultivated area represents a loss at national level, only in direct jobs, 48,375 permanent jobs in the last 30 years.

Change in trend

In spite of the production campaigns, which are still needed for consumers, it has been noticed in the last campaigns that the distribution has changed its position, and now prioritizes the new Andalusian potato against the "old" or conservation potato. A battle that, it seems, the farmers have won after years of seeing how the supermarket shelves "disguised" the conservation potato selling it as "washed".

However, the sector does perceive that consumers have learned to differentiate between the two, and opt for local potatoes.


The fact is that the new potato has better qualities for frying, more nutrients and better flavor than the one from France, which is kept for months in cold storage, is not fresh like the Seville potato and loses much of its properties by blackening and burning, especially if it is intended for frying, one of the main uses in Spain.

This good image and pace of marketing of the new potato also contributes to the fact that the planting and harvesting calendar now covers almost the entire year, thanks to the recovery of planting in January. However, it is still more numerous, and a hallmark of the province of Seville, the potato that begins to be marketed in May and lasts until November.

It should be remembered that the export boom of the Andalusian sector began in the early 90s, when a space opened up in the market for this tuber in the countries of northern Europe: just two months (from April 15 to May 15) before their own harvest, potatoes were needed to meet the demand. Since then, a great development of new varieties has taken place in Seville, adapting to the needs of each market and occupying the existing niche between the extra-early potato from North Africa and the production of Germany, Holland, England or France, clients of Andalusia.

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