The Fresh In Time Club was founded as an outflow from the First Potato Dynamic (FPD Group) Seed- and affiliated companies businesses. For the last five years the FPD Group focused in supplying seed- and ware potatoes to the processing industry, while trialing various potato cultivars for the table market in each of the main market segments. These identified segments are the exotic, premium, mainstream and value markets. From these trials a selection of the best varieties was selected, these are in the process of being launched for the table market through Fresh In Time Club.
The establishment of a “Club” as a grower, distribution and marketing vehicle is a world wide concept that has been brought to SA through the MARKIES potato variety concept introduced in the UK to supply a good French Fry Potato through selected outlets and for specific markets. This concept is also widely used in the fruit industry in introducing new fruit varieties.
In the developed countries the table potatoes are classified according to their usability, namely:
- Boil, Roast & Salad
- Mash & Bake
- Home Fries
Only in SA it has not been the case. The reason is that about 60% of our table potatoes are Mondials. The Mondial variety is farmer friendly with a harvest potential of at least 80 tons/ha. Normally such a high yielding variety does not necessary have good cooking attributes.
- The Club idea is based on the following goals that we would like to achieve, namely:
- Constant supply
- High external quality
- Premium trademark
- Internal quality
- Purpose driven
We have coordinated the Club business into the following divisions:
- Producers (Club shareholders and contracted growers)
- Pack house facility (in the process of accreditation)
- Logistics (own and contracted)
- Admin- and Finance
- Sales and Marketing
The aim is to optimize each potato we harvest by allocating it according to it’s market segment and usability, namely:
- Fresh Produce Market
Our vision for the near future is to upgrade our pack house into a “potato centre of excellence” where we will pack and distribute potatoes as well as process potatoes for “fresh” consumption (salads, crisps, prepared foods).
The “tools” that we will use will be our potato varieties, branded bags, and diversity, namely:
- FIT Trademark bags
- Low GI / Anti-oxidant Potato varieties
- Potato varieties suitable for organic production
- Categorizing potatoes according to usability
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