It’s the best known, most widely grown and popular potato variety, but up until now it has proved too difficult to produce an organic version. Now for the first time organic Maris Piper is available in Waitrose. Supplied by the Produce World Group under its Nature’s Premium brand, it will go on sale in some 40 Waitrose stores from today (October 28), giving purchasers of organic vegetables the opportunity to purchase this most versatile of potatoes for the first time ever.
Gemma Hodgson, Fresh Produce Buyer at Waitrose, said: “Maris Pipers are one of our shoppers’ favourite varieties as they are perfect for mash and brilliant for baking, producing a deliciously crispy skin. And 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, says: “The main challenge is avoiding potato blight. When you are growing organically we can’t use fungicides to prevent blight. This particular variety is late maturing and therefore particular prone to that disease, but thankfully this season there has been low blight pressure.
“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 these potatoes.
Maris Piper is an excellent all-round potato that can be mashed, baked, chipped or roasted.