Sainsbury’s will this year be the first major retailer to start the prestigious and long awaited Jersey Royal season with potatoes available in selected stores from Wednesday 29th February.
Due to a milder winter than the previous year, the new season product will be in stores over four weeks earlier than last spring. Starting in five stores across the South East, availability of the 500g pack priced £3 is set to increase each week depending on weather.
Farmed on the North West of the island, farmers Didier and Christine Helio harvest the potatoes in a greenhouse. The process begins with using seaweed as a natural fertiliser through the autumn which Didier gathers from local beaches before planting the seeds by hand in December and January. Didier's family began farming over 65 years ago and the crop which has PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) by the European Union attracts many unique methods of growing to achieve optimum taste.
Julien Roberts, Potato buyer at Sainsbury's says: "It's great news that we're able to kick start the Jersey Royal season and due to the warmer weather over the winter it's more than 4 weeks earlier than last year. As with all Sainsbury's products it's important that we only sell Jersey Royals when they're at their best so despite it being earlier in the year we're sure the potatoes will taste as good as ever!
"We work closely with farmers and suppliers to offer fresh produce when it's at its best so look forward to the start of season of other home-grown favourites including British asparagus, sStrawberries and even chillies."
Christine Helio, farmer, continues: "We have supplied Jersey Royal Potatoes to Sainsbury's since 2008. Our potatoes are packed for Sainsbury's in a state of the art packing facility, built on the island by Albert Bartlett. This investment has revolutionised the supply of Jersey Royal into the UK mainland; during the main season the potatoes are washed, cooled and packed on the same day as I harvest them, this gives real benefits in freshness and quality for Sainsbury's customers."
From Wednesday 29th February, Jersey Royals priced £3 for 500g pack will be available in 5 stores: Crayford, West Hove, Haywards Heath, Kiln Lane and Sydenham.
Notes to editors