Rungis' sweet potatoes grown on Dutch soil

At Rungis we always aim for the best taste. We look both locally and around the world for he best taste available. If we have the option for tasteful produce form nearby, we alwyas go for it. Our sweet potatoes are grown locally, are very tasty and are really sustainable.

A visit to our grower

This South American potato (actually sweet carrot) is known as an import product, but with the right knowledge and care the crop can also be grown in the Netherlands. The brothers Geerd and Joris, the new generation on their family’s business, were looking for more value for the company and eventually discourved it in their locally grown sweet potatoes. Gert Jan Zonneveld Piek visits these passionate growers and is happy to show you how and where these sweet potatoes are grown in the Netherlands.

Grown on Dutch soil, very sustainable

A fastly growing amount of products that were originally only grown in other countries are now also grown in the Netherlands. Think of our Dutch wasabi, the oca tubers and the zesty buddha finger. Of course, growing such products in the Netherlands comes along with certain challenges. Rungis proudly supports the growers who take up these certain challenges and thus significantly reduce the number of food miles. For sweet potatoes, the perception often remains that import is necessary. They vast majority is still imported from South America. There must be another way, the Dutch brothers Geerd and Joris thought. And thus they accepted the challenge.

We can do it too!

Brothers Geerd and Joris had a shared passion for growing crops from an early age. Their parents have their own farm, where the two brothers grew up and helped out. ‘We both wanted to create more value for the company. And not just by expanding the land, but by growing something else. The sweet potato became increasingly popular in the Netherlands, but was imported from around the globe. Then the thought arose: “We can do that here too.”

Pioneering at its finest

There still is little knowledge about the sweet potato in the Netherlands. The enormous growing areas in other countries cannot simply be copied and implemented with the Dutch conditions. The climate and soil in the Netherlands require a completely different way of growing. ‘We are dealing with a tropical crop here. These shoots are sometimes meters long and the tubers grow on stems. We use special foil to cover the potato ridges which heats them. Because the foil is black, the weeds cannot germinate under the crop. And the foil we use is, of course, biodegradable.’

It has been quite a challenge for the two brothers. Where they started at around 5 years ago with only 200 square meters to try out, this has already grown to 16 hectares of ground for growing their sweet potatoes. All the sweet potatoes at Rungis currently come direcly from these brothers Geerd and Joris, from the polder in Noord-Brabant!

Sweet and versatile

Although the sweet potato is not really related to the potato, it can be used as a substitute in all kinds of dishes. The sweet potato is beautifully sweet and slightly spicy. This makes them ideal for spiced dishes. Perfect for baking, cooking, grilling or roasting. And the orange inside gives extra color to your dish.

Dutch sweet potato

Article number: 130034

Taste: The orange flesh is wonderfully sweet and full of flavour.

Preparation: The sweet potato is incredibly versatile and can be baked, boiled, roasted or even eaten raw.

Combine with: The sweet taste combines nicely in spicy dishes. Also delicious as sweet potato fries, or used in a salad.

You can hear it everywhere: they deliver quality. Thanks to them i'm always assured of good stuff. When buying the right ingredients, your already half way there.

In the first place because of the enormously wide range of products. And as an extra, i’m a big Japan fanatic and Rungis imports a lot from Japan; that’s also an important reason