Holanda: Dutch organic sector unites against potato disease
On Tuesday morning, 25 Dutch organic potato breeders, growers, and big supermarket chains signed the "Expedited transition to more robust potato varieties" agreement.
With this agreement, the organic sector wants to find a sustainable solution for the devastating potato disease: Phytophthora. Bionext. The organic sector chain organisers took the initiative for this.
The direct reason for the agreement is the large-scale damage this disease caused in 2016 to organically grown potatoes. Potatoes are prone to getting phytophthora and natural pesticides were found to be lacking. To speed up the process, the agreement partners have decided to give robust varieties preference in the breeding, growing and selling stages. In this way it will be possible to have 100% organic disease-resistant potatoes by 2020.
Cooperation means disease-resistant varieties
At the moment, there are six types of disease-resistant potatoes available on shop shelves. This will grow to about between 10 and 12 varieties. There will then be is a wide variety of robust organic potatoes available in the various supermarket chains and organic shops. Bionext will monitor the yearly progress.
Bionext’s director, Bavo van den Idsert says: "We are pleased that we could get all the parties on the same page. This is a good example of cooperation in the supply chain. With this agreement, organic potatoes are taking the lead in the making potato farming sustainable."
The agreement partners
The supply chain organisation: Bionext, with its members, Biohuis, BioNederland and the Organic Organisation.
The shops: Albert Heijn, Jumbo Supermarkten, Ekoplaza/Udea, Natuurwinkels/Natudis, Estafette Odin B.V.
The organic farmers’ Organisations: Bdeko, Biowad, South West Organic Farmers’ Association, Nedato Cooperative, the Dutch Organic Potato Pool Foundation.
The organic potato breeders: Agrico, HZPC, C. Meijer B.V., Plantera B.V., Den Hartigh, Europlant, Danespo, Caithness Potatoes B.V., Fam Vos, Carel Bouma biologisch pootgoed B.V. and branches of the Plantum Association.