The French fries industry makes every effort to be able to process 100 percent of the potatoes from the 2020 harvest. Vavi secretary Hylke Brunt made this commitment yesterday during the Potatoes theme day.
Based on a sausage case scenario, in which the chlorprofam mrl goes back from 10 ppm to the detection limit of 0.01 ppm, Brunt argues that at least 50 percent of the stored potatoes cannot meet the legal standards. According to him, this applies to the entire European Union and therefore has a major impact on the availability of raw materials for the 2020-2021 season.
Need for temporary mrl
‘We know that the European Commission has the option to set up a temporary MRL. It is up to us as the European industry and potato sector to convince the committee of the necessity of this. ” Brunt says that an application for a temporary mrl of 0.3 to 0.5 ppm has been submitted to the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed. However, he does not expect a definitive answer to this until the spring of 2021.
In the meantime, the potato sector will have to make maximum efforts to reduce the chlor profam mrl as much as possible. Brunt therefore once again argues that the potatoes from harvest 2020 should no longer be treated with chlorpropham. He suggests that, just like in Belgium, the use-up period for the germ inhibitor should be brought forward from October 2020 to the summer of 2020.
An important aspect to limit the chance of contamination of chloroprofam from storage is effective cleaning of the storage areas and the hardware that is used for loading and unloading. Brunt says that a major practical test at EU level should provide more insight into the best cleaning methods in the short term.
For the potato growers in Dronten, Brunt already wanted to lift a tip of the veil with regard to the results of this study. ‘It seems that the choice will fall on dry cleaning, which can be done by the growers themselves. Whether this is enough to meet the mrl requirements is not yet clear. And whether there will be a binding obligation for cleaning is also not yet clear. ”
In his introduction, Brunt points out the importance of working together to find solutions to the problems that arise. ‘Fortunately, consultations with chain partners have started well at the initiative of BO Akkerbouw. There is also contact with LNV via this route. The aim of the consultation, also at European level, is to foster understanding of the situation and to convince the urgency to come to good solutions quickly. ”
Contracts harvest 2020
In his final question from Brunt, LNCN chairman Mark Brantjes wants to know in concrete terms what potato growers who are currently signing contracts for the 2020 harvest are ready. ‘What about liability? Is it already clear what the additional conditions are? Or is it perhaps wise not to grow potatoes for a year? ”
Brunt reiterates that the French fries industry is making every effort to be able to process 100 percent of the raw material grown. ‘It is partly up to us to unravel the complicated knot around the chlorpropham issue. But it applies to our members that they cannot purchase products that do not meet the legal standards. So there must be a solution, because we are not cowboys. “