The SIVAL plant production fair in Angers, Maine-et-Loire, is an unmissable event for cultivation professionals, offering the opportunity to discover new machines and innovative seeds. Among the exhibitors, the Breton agricultural cooperative Douar Den is presenting several new varieties of organic potatoes, one of which is particularly watched.
Emanuelle Leroy, sales manager at Douar Den, explains: “This year, we are presenting 4 new varieties, Athena, a tender flesh, Wahou which has 2 skin colors, Trufette which has purple skin and flesh and Bysance which won the silver medal in the SIVAL innovation competition this year, which is a tender flesh, it offers characters of hardiness, versatility in cooking, a yield of 50 tons per hectare. We need to develop varieties that provide income security by not using all these conventional chemicals.”
The Bysance potato is particularly interesting for organic farming, as it is resistant to diseases such as mildew or scab. For Emanuelle Leroy, “The stakes are colossal for future generations, for the future of the planet and to offer healthy food. We have a range of 100% organic potatoes, i.e. we have varieties that are more or less suitable. A customer will want to adapt a variety like Charlotte because it is renowned but not necessarily suitable for organic farming. Our job is to keep creating strains.”
The Bysance won the silver medal in the SIVAL 2023 innovation competition thanks to its tender flesh, its versatility in the kitchen and above all, its rusticity. “It is resistant to mildew, you should also know that it is very versatile it will cover all culinary niches. It will perhaps become a reference, due to its conservation, its yields, its presentation… We also created Maïwenn, which is now a reference on the organic market. We created it in 2015, the result of a crossbreeding that we had requested and that we carried out for 10 years.”
Bysance plants are already on the market, intended for professionals but also for individuals from 25 kg.
At the SIVAL, there is also the onion that does not make you cry, developed by the BASF group and marketed by Nunhmens. Grégoire Vendeville, sales representative for Nunhmens, explains: “In the onion you have volatile components, and it will irritate your eye, you will cry. The peculiarity of this onion is that it has less volatile components and it has the ability not to cry. Beyond that, it has taste peculiarities, it is rather sweet and does not have this very spicy side which can be disturbing and it is a real innovation on the condiment market.”
This new variety is the fruit of 30 years of work, resulting from existing varieties. Grégoire Vendeville adds: “We are really on natural selection methods and the constraint is that this very long development, 30 years. A first in France, which you can already find in the Carrefour and Franprix stores.”
At the SIVAL in Angers, new products are presented that are beneficial to the planet and offer healthy food. This Thursday evening, the fair will end, after several days of innovation and discoveries.