The content of this blog originates from the article on the Potato Variety Days 2021 published in PotatoWorld magazine 2022/01.
By Zindziwe Janse, Jaap Delleman and Leo Hanse.
During the Potato Variety Days 2021, we asked participating breeding companies about the key focus of their breeders in their search for new varieties. In this blog post you may read the answer given by Rutvik Patil, Commercial Manager at STET, Emmeloord (NL):
‘What we want is to offer an efficient portfolio of blockbuster varieties’
‘By working closely together with the dedicated customers in our 25 focus markets and five global processors, we determine the direction in which we want our product portfolio to develop’, explains Rutvik Patil, Stet’s Commercial Manager. ‘In 2016, we decided that we want to be the cost leader in the market. This means that we want to offer an efficient portfolio of blockbuster varieties. This year, we're reaping the first benefits of this.’
Enthusiastically, Patil shows a few numbers from the crisps segment, a market where STET is a major player with the VR808 variety. ‘We’ve set the standards for new varieties really high. The supply of new varieties from breeding activities has been very minimal, due to higher demands on both the customer side and the seed potato production side. We now see a number of new varieties emerging where seed potato production and commerce are in balance. These are the varieties that have a business impact on the market. Take the VR 808, for example, the “golden standard” for Pepsico in the crisps market. This variety has many strong characteristics, but it’s susceptible to viruses. We’ve now launched a new number, the STT 12-652 for Pepsico. This variety approximates the same quality of crisps, but is also very strong on virus. Here we see the blockbuster strategy in action. We also work closely together with other customers. Our SH C 1010 crisp variety has already been widely accepted by customers such as Intersnack. With the new STT 12-873 number, we offer them a variety with broad resistance to Phytophthora. The variety also has virus resistance and is strong against drought. That helps us in areas in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The variety is also interesting for our seed potato growers, because it gives a high seed potato yield’, the commercial manager explains with enthusiasm. ‘What all these varieties have in common is that they’re effective in the production process. This fits in with our cost-leadership strategy, whereby we focus on efficiency, quality, personal commitment and reliability. By keeping the chain costs low, we can operate effectively in the market. Because we work closely with our customers and carry out much of the development together, we reduce costs and receive a lot of input that we translate back into the breeding company. When assessing the crossings, we share the data from the trials and collect all that data in an app. We then look at the customer averages, ultimately showing the best varieties. In this way, we focus on a win-win situation for all parties.’
’Want to keep reading about the Potato Variety Days?
In the run-up to the event we published an e-book that you can download here!