Peterborough produce firm peels the wraps off new spud

Maris Piper is all-round potato that can be mashed, baked, chipped or roasted.

Maris Piper is all-round potato that can be mashed, baked, chipped or roasted.

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A leading vegetable supplier based in Peterborough has created a new version of a popular potato.

Growers for Produce World, which employs several hundred people in Peterborough, Sutton Bridge, Wykeham, Swinderby and Chatteris, have created an organic version of the versatile Maris Piper potato.

It seems a little strange to be talking about innovation when it comes to such a well-known potato.

Gemma Hodgson, buyer

And the new model spud has just gone on sale in 40 Waitrose supermarkets across the country.

Gemma Hodgson, fresh produce buyer at Waitrose, said: “Maris Pipers are one of our shoppers’ favourite varieties.

“So it seems a little strange to be talking about innovation when it comes to such a well-known potato. Our growers have been working hard to make an organic crop a reality as Maris Pipers are a particularly tricky variety to produce. This means we are particularly excited to see them on our shelves for the first time.”

Produce World’s agronomy manager Simon Faulkner said: “When growing organically we can’t use fungicides to prevent blight. This particular variety is late maturing and prone to that disease, but thankfully this season there has been low blight pressure.”

He added: “At the same time we have had to plan carefully to get just the right location that provides good fertility and availability of water, while reducing the risk of blight.

“This means avoiding growing our organic Maris Piper in close proximity to other potatoes.”

Produce World has worked closely with one of its expert grower partners at A.E. Lenton to produce the new potatoes.

A spokesman for the firm said: “Maris Piper is an excellent all-round potato that can be mashed, baked, chipped or roasted.”

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