The first harvest was on Wednesday. | Juanjo Roig

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Mateu Export in Sa Pobla is about to start potato exports, the first harvest of Lady Christl new potatoes having been made on Wednesday. Over the coming days, potatoes will be shipped to export markets, such as the UK.

After two years of having had to adapt to Brexit and the effects of the pandemic, the main issue at present is increased cost. Joan Mateu says that since planting began in October, production costs have increased greatly. "This is the case with electricity, fertiliser and fuel, to give three examples."

The weather has also affected the situation. Frosts in January were managed quite well, because they were accompanied by high relative humidity, which meant that there were no notable issues. The main problem was in November. "We had to stop planting due to heavy rain. The delay set us back."

Mateu Export forecasts that exports will last until July 15, when the second harvest cycle will be completed.

As to Brexit, Joan Mateu says that they have adapted to the demands. Last year's export was a "well coordinated campaign". The UK market, he adds, "is now waiting for our potatoes to arrive".

With the pandemic not the issue it was, the latest concern is of course the war in Ukraine. Mateu explains that 60% of their exports go to countries close to the conflict, e.g. Poland, the Czech Republic and Finland. "The situation will hopefully calm down and we can have a normal campaign."

In 2021, Mateu Export distributed a total of 15,300,000 kilos of potatoes. These were for Mallorca, the national market and the export market.