#Farm2Ferry – The flow of famous food from the Channel Islands to Portsmouth International Port, the UK’s second busiest ferryport, has taken root as the season for Jersey Royal potatoes began at the end of March.
The seasonal export involves transporting the ‘Royals’ on board Condor Ferries. This requires ro-ro freighter Commodore Goodwill and ropax ferry, Commodore Clipper, pictured above in St. Helier, Jersey, by Afloat’s ferry correspondent Jehan Ashmore who also had taken a crossing Ben-My-Chree (similar to the 'Clipper') operated by the Isle of Man Steam Packet. See captain interview.
The legendary Channel Islands vegetable has been grown for the last 130 years and is so special it has been granted EU protection, much in the same way that Champagne has in France.
Between 30,000 - 40,000 tonnes of the delicious Jersey Royal potatoes are harvested annually, with the vast majority shipped to Portsmouth. It is an important export for Jersey, and a crucial crop for the twenty or so farmers who specialise in growing the potatoes in the island’s fertile soil.
As the Jersey Royal potatoes began their journey to England, in the opposite direction, a delicious and delicate cargo supply of chocolate Easter Eggs make the return trip. Most of the Easter Eggs bound for the Channel Islands has been sent from Portsmouth this year, making a vital contribution to celebrations and aides the tasty potato is another addition to a balanced diet!
Despite their close proximity to mainland France, up to 80% of all produce consumed and used on the Channel Islands is shipped from Portsmouth on Condor Ferries services. Along with temperature controlled food products, a vast array of other goods are shipped from Portsmouth every day to the Channel Islands. These include drink, clothing, furniture, cars and building products and equipment - in fact all the necessities of modern life.
Each night between 35 and 40 refrigerated trailers depart Portsmouth on board Commodore Goodwill, with another 10 or more on Commodore Clipper’s daytime ferry service. This ferry makes a first call to St. Peter Port, Guernsey, then onwards to St. Helier, Jersey. The return crossing from the largest of the Channel Islands is an overnight passage directly to Portsmouth.