35% of Jersey crop planted; Welsh want better deal Egypt's imports set to be lower Total Egyptian new potato shipments could be halved this year reaching less than 100,000 tonnes, according to importers. Between a third and a quarter of the crop is earmarked for the UK. But the industry is in cautious mood as the potato market as a whole is stagnant and there has been an increase in competitive imports. Indications are that the crop will also be later than normal. Cold weather this month has reduced yields, while the industry is closely monitoring new production areas developed away from the Nile Delta region, following the emergence of brown rot last season. EU legislation caused shipments to be banned. Meanwhile the British Potato Consortium has estimated that 30-35% of the Jersey crop has now been planted. Frost might have caused damage but it is still too early to tell. Token plantings are already under way in the UK which is slightly ahead of last year. Welsh potato growers and packers have called for better arrangements with supermarkets in the coming season. Watertight contracts and a greater commitment to tonnages and delivery dates would give the industry more confidence and help it to beat imports. Grower Walter Simon complained: "So far we have been given precious little credit on the point of sale side for high quality produce." {{FRESH PRODUCE }}