A New Zealand native sweet potato has been shortlisted for a top United Kingdom food award. The kumura is entered in the fresh produce category of the Q-Awards in London that recognize taste, quality, packaging, presentation, value for money and nutrition.
New Zealand cooperative Delta Produce has been exporting the potato to the UK since 2003 and has seen shipments grow to a container every seven to 10 days from four a year. It expects export revenue to reach NZ$1 million this year,
The Sainsbury supermarket chain sells the kumura in 200 of its stores and Delta believes a win in the Q-Awards could see distribution expanded to all 570 stores in the chain. With the kumara costing up to NZ$12 a kilogram - three times its price in New Zealand - the product is being sold in packs of three as a gourmet item.