One for all, all for the potato
Ever since it was discovered in South America, the potato has been part of our daily cuisine. Since September 2018, Colruyt and OKay customers are able to buy potatoes resulting from a close partnership between 16 local growers and Colruyt Group. The goal of this project? To achieve a more constant quality, guarantee a stable price for growers and extend the potato season in Belgium.
The potatoes in our Boni Selection French fries and Everyday Mealy potatoes (5 kg) are the harvest of a close collaboration between Colruyt Group and 16 Belgian potato growers. In the past, they hardly ever had contact with supermarket chains. In this project however, they sit around the table together and share their knowledge. This has enabled them to select the varieties best suited for the local soil types and to make agreements about quality. Colruyt Group is the first Belgian retailer to have set up this kind of partnership.
As a producer, we now feel more involved. It is nice to know who our customers are and where our potatoes are sold. Because of our close relationship with Colruyt Group, we are doubly motivated to set the bar higher and higher for quality.
Short supply chain, many advantages
In this short supply chain, benefits and risks are fairly distributed. Rony Neufkens, head of Colruyt Group’s vegetable purchasing department explains: “We want to highlight the expertise of Belgian potato growers and at the same time protect them against price fluctuations. Together we also managed to extend the Belgian potato season by one month, before switching to imported potatoes. This partnership has proved even more valuable since we were confronted with an extreme drought in the summer of 2018. By helping each other, cooperation has only become stronger.”
Each link in the chain benefits from this partnership. Of course, the climate may be playing tricks on us, but thanks to this cooperation, we have more control over several factors.
With this initiative, we contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.