British Potato Council drives on seasonal new potato image Planting at five-year low Estimates of UK planting are the lowest in five years, according to the British Potato Council. It believes the figure is 140,500 hectares ­ 4% below last season's level and 1.6% below the previous lowest figure in 1998. Growers have been concerned that yields in some areas are lower than expected. Early crops are being cleared at a similar level to 2001. Imports have slowed and Jersey is coming to a close, making £4-£4.40 per 20kg. The final export figure is expected to be in the region of 38,000 tonnes, well below expectations, 4,500 tonnes less than last year. Cyprus Cara bakers and Spunta prices have eased to £7.5025kg and £520g respectively. Selected English potatoes range between £4.00 and £6.80, according to variety. For the next three months BPC is expecting to boost new potato sales with an on-pack Kids Go Free competition taken up by all major supermarkets. The competition is expected to appear on over eight million prepacks. Kids go free when accompanied by a full paying adult to one of 490 featured venues. Marketing executive Kay Hogg said: "The theme for this year's new potato campaign is Get out into the British countryside', reflected in the inclusion of farms in the directory. "The campaign includes a new look bus visiting supermarkets, schools and regional shows, providing sampling and promoting local crops. "Quad bikes at these locations will cycle round towns handing out promotional material with the aim of driving people to their local store." Meanwhile Tesco has teamed up with three suppliers to create a web site about potatoes that can be used as a teaching tool for pupils. The group sells 340,000 tonnes a year, nearly all British. {{FRESH PRODUCE }}