UP to 480 tonnes of Jersey Royal potatoes are due to be shipped each day via Portsmouth International Port in the coming weeks on Condor Ferries as the export season gets underway.
The 10 weeks from mid-April is the main period for sending the Channel Islands’ premier home-grown product to market and Condor is working closely with The Jersey Royal Company and Portsmouth Port to ensure supplies of these ‘Very Important Potatoes’ reach the UK and onto retailers throughout the country.
Steve Champion-Smith, Condor’s Freight Director, said, ‘Whilst the majority of our freight supplies are southbound to the Islands, the export market is equally important. We dedicate a great deal of manpower and resources to supporting this operation and it is very encouraging to see the season for Jersey Royals start so promisingly.’
‘Three weeks in and we are transporting around 30 tonnes each day. This will rise to closer to 500 tonnes or around 40 trailers per night. Last year we carried a huge 39,000 tonnes of potatoes in total over the season.’
Andrew Williamson, Portsmouth International Port’s passenger operations manager, said: ‘We look forward to welcoming our VIP (Very Important Potato) guests.
‘As a critical freight route to the Channel Islands we’re seeing goods regularly heading to supermarket shelves, and this works both ways. Seasonal produce is incredibly popular and it’s great to see the arrival of the infamous Jersey Royal potato.
‘As a roll on roll off operation, goods will be off the ship and onto the motorway in no time.’
Mike Renouard, Director of The Jersey Royal Company, confirmed he was looking forward to a plentiful harvest and export market in 2020.
‘The wet winter has meant a slightly later start than usual, but we believe this year’s crop is going to be good. We also know that panic buying on the mainland has meant the UK supply has been partially exhausted, so the main retailers are keen to see plentiful stocks of Jersey Royals on their shelves.’
Condor provides twice daily freight services from Portsmouth to Jersey and Guernsey using Commodore Clipper and Commodore Goodwill.
Source: Portsmouth International Port website