The Jersey Royal could stand up in court and prove its uniqueness' Jersey Royal new potato growers reaching the peak of their crop are taking steps to safeguard their image. They are offering trading standards officers guidelines and a training session so they can differentiate the island's unique variety from other sources. And the provenance of the crop is being backed with DNA fingerprinting by the Institute for Arable Crop Research, Rothamsted. Professor Brian Kerry said it was the first time a potato crop had been protected in such a fashion. Kerry said: "The result will give growers the added confidence, should it be necessary. The Jersey Royal could stand up in court and prove its uniqueness," he added. Cases of traders passing off other potatoes are not unknown, according to Jill White of the Jersey Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. Two years ago, a Warwickshire greengrocer was fined £4,000 under section 15 of the 1990 Food Safety Act for passing off French potatoes as British. The department has also taken measures to minimise copycat branding by obtaining a EU protection of designation. In addition, last year growers organised spud patrols' to minimise an outbreak of potato poaching. Early reports indicate that potato pinching is down this season. "It may seem overprotective," added White, "but the crop is hugely important to the island." Latest reports indicate that with 15% lifted and an export rate of 350 tonnes a day, the final shipment figure will be in the region of 32,000-35,000 tonnes. Ware is making around 70p/lb with 10p less for mids. {{M/E FRESH PRODUCE }}