With Agrico potatoes, you can expect vigorous growth and an assured harvest.
In order to achieve this, we carry out strict checks on the quality of the potatoes to be delivered.
Quality starts with the very best reproduction material. Agrico Research's innovative varieties have excellent genetic characteristics that suit a variety of growing conditions.
The number of years that the tuber is used from mother to daughter helps to determine the purity, health and vitality of the potato. Agrico supplies strong, healthy reproduction material with good germination capacity.
Our growers are professionals who plant, grow and harvest potatoes with great care. This is a crucial part of ensuring that we can deliver a high quality product.
The harvested potatoes are professionally stored and transported under the right climatic conditions right up until the moment of delivery.
For Agrico, quality also means delivery of the correct quantity on time, with the required regularity and in the requested packaging, free of tare.
Various factors are important in order to be able to supply high-quality seed and ware potatoes. Much of this quality assurance work is done in the Agrico Quality Center, where we determine the quality of the potatoes.
This is where we assess samples of all batches that we are currently selling or intending to sell. We assess the quality of both the interior and exterior of the potatoes. We check for the presence of diseases and determine the germination capacity (of seed potatoes). We ascertain the sizing and the underwater weight. And we also determine the quality of the potatoes in terms of their suitability for transport and long-term storage.
The Agrico Quality Center can process 20,000 to 25,000 samples on an annual basis.
At Agrico, we continuously invest in increasing our knowledge. It’s all in the data. At Agrico's Quality Center we make sure that each potato is used for the right purpose.
A state-of-the-art line, with various cameras, brush, washing, scraping, laser and weighing units, contributes to the quality assessment of the potatoes.
Each test crop sample from our Agrico growers is assigned a unique QR code, under which all of the grower’s plot data and name and address details are stored. The QR code also determines the route the sample takes across the machine line.
The gross weight of the test crop samples is entered into the data system. The potatoes are cleaned without damaging the skin and are then photographed. A 3D laser camera is used to determine the square mesh size and volume of each individual potato. This data is recorded automatically.
The net weight is determined by weighing the clean test crop sample for a second time. The net weight is divided by the number of tubers and the volume of all tubers. In this way the weight of each tuber is calculated and the system knows the size ratio and the saleable quantity of the batch.
The potatoes continue their way on the machine line via the washing drum. The second reading table provides insight into the external quality aspects of the washed seed potato sample. All external defects such as scabies or rhizoctonia are recorded in the data system.
A random selection of 100 tubers is made from each test crop sample of seed potatoes. These 100 tubers are collected in a crate, which is also assigned a unique QR code.
Agrico's Quality Center is equipped with climate-controlled rooms in which these crates containing 100 tubers are stored at a temperature of over 18 degrees and a relative humidity of at least 95%. These conditions are ideal for bacteria and fungi. After 5 to 6 weeks, these batches are checked for germination and vitality.
If a batch of 100 seed potatoes contains 1 or more rotten tubers, it is assessed as inadequate and the stock from this batch is labeled as such in the system. Agrico's logistics department is not permitted to simply ship this batch. Larger counter samples are taken in order to obtain a second opinion.
The quality of seed potatoes also depends on defects beneath the skin that are not directly visible. By scraping the tubers, the machine removes half a millimeter of skin and reveals any defects underneath it. The underwater weight of the seed potatoes is determined in the underwater weigher, from which the dry matter content of this batch can be derived. Photos of any defects beneath the skin are also recorded in the data system.
In order to make an even better assessment of their internal quality, the potatoes are then cut by machine. On the last reading table of the machine line, an Agrico employee carefully checks and assesses the batch of seed potatoes for any further internal defects such as hollowness or ringing.
Once all data from the test crop sample has been fully entered, the data is sent to Agrico's head office for further analysis.
On Agrico's machine line, in addition to test crop samples of seed potatoes, other potato samples are also assessed. A sample of ware potatoes, for example. These potatoes follow their own route across the line and are assessed on other characteristics.
At the Quality Center more research takes place than just the quality control on the machine line. Not only are specific pathogens further analyzed, but frying figures are also determined for crisps and chips. Product managers, export managers and customers visit to assess varieties on their desired qualities.
With its Quality Center, Agrico promotes a professional product that everyone can benefit from. After all, excellent growth also requires the ability to innovate.