The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s (AHDB) new Potato Data Centre (PDC) gets underway later this month.
The tool, which allows growers and those in the supply chain to examine data on price, variety, planted area, market sector and yield, will be available from November 22 when it debuts at the “soil-to-shelf” potato industry event, BP2017, held in London.
PDC comes as prices hit a three-year low due to a four percent increase in planted area combined with reportedly above-average yields.
“The good news is that as growers and retailers continue to work closer together, a higher percentage of growers supply potatoes on contract, at a pre-agreed price, so for many high yields mean contracts are filled,” said Rob Clayton, strategy director at AHDB Potatoes.
The data on PDC comes from AHDB’s annual levy return forms, as well as price information from weekly calls to growers and purchases made by members of a recently expanded team.
Access to information captured on levy forms puts AHDB in an exclusive position to provide this free service.
“Information is presented in comparative and interactive graphs,” adds Clayton. “Users will be able to pull in data on the variety and market sector relevant to them, and then compare that data to that of previous seasons to identify trends.
“This is a real game-changer for growers and the supply chain.”
Michael Welham, of Strutt and Park Farms Ltd, says he has been using AHDB’s market and pricing information for several years.
“Their access to industry data and independent position makes the information they provide uniquely impartial,” he said.
AHDB will publish a yield figure at the end of November, as lifting completes in Scotland and Yorkshire.
“By BP2017 we will have a good picture of market conditions for the season and we invite everyone to come and examine the data and discuss the market, as well as what we can offer with our team,” adds Clayton.