Francia: 80,000 tons of seed potatoes in 2020
in 2014 Germicopa joined the Florimond Desprez Group, a French family business founded in 1830.
Last July, after working for seed company SESVanderhave in the USA, Florimond Desprez became the general director. The 29-year old is the sixth generation involved in the family business and is full of ambition.
Germicopa is established in Bretagne, France. All varieties created by the company are characterised by female names. Florimond: “Traditionally, Germicopa focuses on salad potatoes. Examples of this are Charlotte, Chérie and Amandine. Now we are also turning to other markets and developing potato varieties not only for the fresh market but also for industrial processing. Daisy is used to make French fries and Amyla is well developed on the starch market, notably in France where it is the number one variety.”
Germicopa has the seed potatoes produced by its own network of producers (c.180 growers in France). The company markets the seed in 70 countries. “Last year we sold 63,000 tons of seed potatoes, of which more than 50% were exported. This year we will increase our sales to 70,000 tons and we hope to reach 80,000 tons by 2020 or 2021.” Our goal is not only to sell seeds but also to find more partners in royalty markets, for example in Argentina, in the US or in South-Africa.”
During the Fruit Logistica, Germicopa put their organic varieties in the spotlight. Kelly is used for the production of industrial fries, Edony for industrial crisps and Yona for the fresh market. The variety is already well established in Spain and Portugal.
Another project which characterised Germicopa’s approach is Princesse Amandine, a club variety. “We have a network of twelve packers who have exclusive access to this variety and actively promote it towards the end consumers.”
“We try to create varieties that are resistant to diseases, especially to water stress. In countries like Mali, Niger, Tunisia, Portugal and Spain there are more and more restrictions and we need to continue our research to meet their ever growing requirements. Besides, it is important that new varieties have a reduced need for fertilizers. Amany for example has a reduced need for nitrogen. We also develop varieties with resistance to diseases, notably to late blight, in order to reduce the need for treatments. Kelly is a good example of that.”
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