Patatas Meléndez

Patatas Meléndez starts the grubbing-up of the ‘verdete’ potato in Andalucía.

Patatas Meléndez, the leading company in the fresh potato sector in Valladolid with a 20% market share, started to harvest the “verdete” potato in Andalusia just a fortnight ago. This company, which will inaugurate a production plant in 2023 that will be a benchmark in Europe, implemented a double harvesting system more than five years ago to satisfy the demand for new potatoes throughout the year that would maintain their organoleptic characteristics intact.

“We have started harvesting potatoes in Andalusia with the Soprano variety and both yields and product quality are in line with our forecasts. In the next few days, we will also start harvesting this same variety in the Murcia region, although we will then continue with other varieties such as Agria, Memphis and Colomba. Although we are very optimistic about this season, we are a little worried and uncertain about the heavy rains over the last few weeks and how they could affect us when it comes to continuing with the grubbing up”, explains Juan Manuel Coello, Operations Director for Patatas Meléndez.

The company from Castile-Leon has always been known for being a pioneering company: it was the first potato company to sell its raw material already washed, and thanks to its new automated and digitalised factory covering 21,000 square metres, it will be at the technological forefront of the sector on the European continent. Meléndez has invested more than 36 million euros in this factory which will implement innovations focused on maximising potato quality and efficiency in all processes.

It is worth remembering that this company, which sells around 180,000 tonnes, has already started sowing for the coming spring-summer season in the regions of Andalusia and Murcia.

A quality-oriented model

For Patatas Meléndez, product quality is a non-negotiable requirement. This company, which has grown by 25% in volume and 63% in value over the last five years, strives every day to ensure that its consumers can enjoy excellent potato in terms of flavour and texture 365 days of the year. To achieve this objective, quality is an essential ally, and this is achieved thanks to the alignment of all the links in the food chain. From an agronomic department that advises growers on which varieties are the most suitable for cultivation on each plot of land; through all the work of the farmers; to the distribution chains, which are essential to know the specific needs of the consumers.

This company, which distinguishes itself by growing numerous potato varieties, carries out more than 300,000 quality controls every year which include monitoring parameters such as internal and external defects; chemical parameters such as the quantity of glucose, dry matter and starches; and organoleptic parameters such as flavour, smell and colour through different culinary tests. All this is done to ensure that the potatoes meet the specific needs of its customers.

Finally, it should be pointed out that the way Patatas Meléndez, a company located in Castile and León, the most important potato producing area in Spain, works is to work directly at source to ensure that its quality standards are met. This is why it has developed a powerful agronomic structure in the South of Spain called Agroquality.

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