Jersey Royal potato exports fall

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Jersey Royal exports in 2012 were down by more than 2,000 tonnes on 2011 levels, according to a report.

The Agricultural Statistics report says this amounts to a drop in income of about £2m.

The report said the weather made it difficult for potato growing. It also found the land used for the crop has shrunk, albeit by less than 1%.

William Church from the Jersey Royal Company says the findings are not a cause for concern.

'Limited window'

He said: "We are operating in a market that can fluctuate; there is still significant demand from retailers wanting to stock it.

"We have a limited window where we can sell the stock and there is no great concern.

"If there is still demand and we have a willing market than people will still grow them.

"I don't think there is anybody likely to leave the industry and expect the situation to remain stable."

The number of Jersey Royals sold or exported fell from 30,890 tonnes in 2011, worth £30.8m, to 28,600 tonnes in 2012, worth £28.6m.

Mr Church told BBC News the figures covered 2012 but that the outlook for this year was not likely to be any better, due to the effects of snowfall.

He said: "When you are working in agriculture you always, to a certain extent, operate to the vagaries of the British weather, but that has been the same for the past 50 years - it is just something you have to work with as a farmer."

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