Potato Companies Seek to Improve Sustainable Quality through Traceability


Potato Companies Seek to Improve Sustainable Quality through Traceability

By Conny Graumans, AgGateway Europe Regional Director

Large potato processors, such as McCain and Lamb Weston, want to learn about the performance of specific potato varieties grown and stored under different conditions: different soil types, the application of different fertilizers and crop protection products, irrigation practices, etc.

The first step in this process is to identify from which field or parcel a batch of potatoes was harvested, ideally with visual maps. Once the match is made between a batch of potatoes and the fields in which they were grown, potato processors can advise their farmers on how to grow high-quality potatoes in a sustainable manner.

Farmers who have contracts with large potato growers typically provide in-season reports documenting their field operations and harvest data. However, the information currently comes in multiple forms (Excel spreadsheets, XML files, JSON files and written documents). The different formats induce errors and cause delays, adding cost to a company’s operations. The potato companies require a global data standard that allows communication with different farm management information systems (FMIS).

These opportunities and challenges have led potato companies to explore how AgGateway can help solve these problems. A group of AgGateway member companies is drafting a charter for a new working group so that work can begin on identifying the primary use cases and potential solutions. The effort is currently being led by AgGateway’s European regional group, but AgGateway expects large potato processors in North America to also participate.

For more information, contact Conny Graumans, AgGateway’s European Regional Director, through Member Services at Member.Services@AgGateway.org.