'New' potatoes discovered on sale months after harvest

One solution “could be to market as baby potatoes”

The potato industry has established a standard definition of ‘new potatoes’ after an investigation by Trading Standards revealed that potatoes were being sold as ‘new’ for up to seven months after harvest.

South Ayrshire Trading Standards took samples of ‘new’ potatoes on sale at eight leading supermarkets. In each of the 24 samples from the six retailers that responded to questions, it found the potatoes had been harvested “quite some time” before going on sale, South Ayrshire Council said.

To give shoppers greater confidence, the Potato Council has drafted guidelines on what constitutes a ‘new potato’. They must be destined for purchase soon after harvest, have an ‘immature thin or scraping skin’ and be of ‘an appropriate variety’.

“A refined description means shoppers will know when they’re enjoying them at their seasonal best,” said Potato Council head of marketing Caroline Evans. The solution could be as simple as dropping the word ‘new’ when not in season and instead retailing packs of ‘baby potatoes’, she added.

Blog: The new new potato