|A gourmet version of the Jersey Royal potato, cultivated by Tesco, has been targeted by spud rustlers.
The Jersey Royal Pearl sells for 10 times the price of standard new potatoes.
At £6 a kilo, the spuds high value has made them a prime target for thieves who are thought to be selling them to high end restaurants in Europe.
Potato producers have been forced to patrol their fields at night in a bid to ward off criminals.
Tesco potato buyer, Paul Thomas, said: "Jersey Royals are already known as among the finest produce grown in the British Isles and the Pearls, which have been developed over the last 18 months, are the absolute crème de la crème of the potato world.
"This is the first year that the Pearls have been on sale and as this is a small island it hasn't taken long for news to get around. We believe they are being stolen to order.
"The growers have now had to patrol the fields at night in order to safeguard the valuable crop."
Barrie Hamel, of Jersey Royal Company director, which cultivated the spud and is the island's biggest grower, said: "We decided to cultivate a smaller potato than regular Jerseys. It has an even more delicate flavour - with a fragrant chest nutty flavour.
"It was created by changing our planting technique and the smaller size has intensified the flavour."
Jersey Royals are famous for their taste and account for nearly half of all potato sales in spring and summer.