Delicious Jersey Royals… all year round
Monday, July 10, 2023
Jersey Royal potatoes are mouth-watering – but they’re usually only available for a few months each year. Until now. Find out how we’ve brought them to the table all year round.
A royal history
Jersey Royals have been grown on Jersey for over 135 years. Today, there are 12 island farmers growing Jersey Royals, many of whom are fifth-generation farmers.
There’s no mistaking the taste of Jersey Royal new potatoes, thanks to the island’s rich, fertile earth, gentle climate – and the way our farmers grow them. The Jersey soil is light and well-drained, and many farmers use seaweed as a natural fertiliser. Known locally as Vraic, harvesting seaweed from the beaches to use on the land dates back to the 12th century.
Not only do these potatoes taste delicious, but they also enjoy UK protected designation of origin. Much like France is granted sole use of the word ‘champagne’, Jersey is the only place that can give the name ‘Jersey Royal’ to its potatoes.
A traditionally short growing season
Jersey Royals are usually only available for a few short months each year. The crop is hand-planted from January to April, then harvested from April until the end of June. The peak season is May, when up to 1000 tonnes of Jersey Royals are exported daily. Typically, the island exports between 25,000 to 30,000 tonnes of potatoes every year.
Now available all year round
Now, customers don’t need to wait for the summer season to enjoy the taste of Jersey Royals. They’ll be lightly coated and frozen, ready to be roasted in the oven at home by Marks and Spencer customers. Golden and crispy, these baby potatoes are tasty eaten as an accompaniment to salads and roasts alike.
Meet the growers
We work with a dedicated group of 12 growers, many of whom have been growing potatoes on Jersey for 5 generations.
Christine and Didier Hellio
Christine and Didier are a husband-and-wife team who grow a range of crops at their farm in St Ouen where they have 160 acres of land. They’re both from farming backgrounds and have been married – and working together – for 27 years.
Jersey Royals are the mainstay of their farming business and have been farmed by the Hellio family for generations. Although the season has been (traditionally) short for Jersey Royals, they’re focused on producing the crop for 10 months each year.
Stephen Labey is a Jerseyman born and bred. Farming from the age of 17, he proudly follows in the footsteps of several generations of farmers in the family. Stephen and wife, Vicky, run Labey Farms Ltd as well as Labey Equestrian Ltd – a livery yard for up to 14 horses. At the tender age of 7, their son James is already showing a keen interest in Jersey’s potato industry, and often helps his dad on the farm during weekends and school holidays.
The local environment is important to the Labey family, and they protect it wherever possible. They currently have barn owl nesting boxes on the land and are always keen to support other conservation projects.
In 2007, Nick Mourant was given the opportunity to restart farming at Meleches Farm in St Helier and continue a family tradition of over 200 years. Nick is the largest independent farmer of Jersey Royals in the Channel Islands, farming almost 660 acres across 12 parishes on Jersey.
He credits the re-birth of independent farms in Jersey to our investment and confidence in building a state-of-the-art washing and packing facility for Jersey Royal potatoes on the island – and the Mourant family hope you continue to enjoy some of Jersey’s finest produce, all year round!