The Sarvari Research Trust has successfully bred seven varieties of blight resistant potatoes, which span various cropping and culinary genres. In 2013, Sarpo Potatoes Ltd was established to be the trading arm of the Sarvari Research Trust. It has since been awarded funding from the Welsh Government Rural Development Programme (RDP), through the Co-operation and Supply Chain Development Scheme pathway. The funding aims to develop clusters of growers of virus and blight resistant seed and ware potatoes, to help satisfy increasing demand in the marketplace. The project will also facilitate training on production, and provide access to specialist machinery. By explaining and demonstrating their benefits to ware growers and customers, the project additionally aims to expand the market for Sarpo varieties.
The three-year evaluation conducted by Miller Research will monitor and assess the success of the RDP funding in achieving its aims. This will be a three phased approach through a baseline evaluation, mid-term and final evaluation. At each phase of the evaluation, Miller Research will engage with stakeholders through interviews and an online survey, analyse available monitoring data, and hold workshop sessions with the growers. This engagement will allow for a final evaluation to assess how the funding has contributed to the development of the horizontal and vertical supply chain of seed and ware potatoes in Wales.