Waste to winner
Salad days for unwanted spuds
IT has taken more than two years and almost $1 million but a Marion Bay potato operation is now is cracking a national market for potatoes not pretty enough for retail sales.
Gerard and Susie Daly have succeeded in their quest to add value to less-than-perfectlooking potatoes that would have been turfed out and fed to cows.
Now those spuds are being turned into tasty salads at a new plant at Sorell. They will be stocked at Woolworths, starting in its Tasmanian stores, and sold under the banner Daly Potato Company.
The Dalys grow potatoes on their 140ha Dunalley farm, which boasts sandy soils. They use the Nicola variety because of its boiling qualities. About 20 bins or about five tonnes of potatoes a week are used.
“We just started and the early response is amazing, it’s a dream come true to finally get to this point,’’ Mrs Daly said.
“I hate waste and have been on a quest to eliminate waste.”
The Dalys also distil vodka from potatoes that don’t make the grade for retail.
Production manager and former chef Russell Crook worked with Hobart food scientist Hazel MacTavish-West to develop the range.
“We are hiring new staff and looking to put on about 10 people as production scales up,” Mr Crook said.
“As we progress we will start adding new lines, for example mashed potato during winter.”