Potato Wor ld vision Potato (World): A future full of promise The potato sector holds a varied, healthy, and economically important product that is also widely known by practically all the people in the world. The potato has its own water reserves, uses hardly any water, grows in cold seasons with reduced evapotranspiration and can be harvested early. The potato sector therefore has a global product with a gilt-edged image that sells itself. When introducing a new product, any market could only dream of such characteristics, but it must and it could be even better. – The range of varieties must be further brought to perfection, and that’s why inspection of plant breeders’ rights/licences is essential; – National governments and phytosanitary bodies must keep each other informed, so that problems can be addressed as soon they arise; – Innovation in harvesting, transporting and storaging, for example. This all depends on our willingness to encourage others to invest. Developing new varieties and modern potato products, opening up markets and focusing on special target consumer groups with potato variants and potato products, further anticipation of convenience and health are examples that may lead us there. It is in the interest of us all that the total world market should grow. The parties in the chain of a country and subsequently all the different countries have a responsibility of their own, but on top of that there are interests which can benefit the entire world sector. It is essential that we regularly discuss the issues, so that we work jointly towards an answer, and Potato World can play a prominent role in all this. It would be a pity if, for example, Europe and the USA were to work on one and the same problem, while collaboration would bring the answer more quickly, or at any rate more efficiently. Moreover, it would not help much to create artificial boundaries where the active potato companies have long internationalised. It is not without reason that our national magazine has been called Potato World magazine for so long. ● René van Diepen, Director of the Dutch Potato Organisation (NAO) AW-ACTUA Pricing experiment with organic potatoes Under which conditions and for what price will consumers buy organic products? In order to gain more insight into this question, Mr Veerman, the Dutch Minister for Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries (LNV) of the Netherlands has commissioned a practical study to be carried out. As from the beginning of April, a number of organic products (among them potatoes) will be sold in ten small municipalities at a reduced price for four months. As from the beginning of April 2007, the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries (LNV) will provide one million euros to reduce the price of organic potatoes. How will consumers respond to a price reduction for organic products? At what point will the consumer start buying organic? At the same time, customers in the shops of these ten municipalities will be asked about their buying habits in order to find out whether there are any other reasons for buying (or not buying) organic products. The discount percentages differ per municipality. This was specifically done to be able to compare the moment at which the customer finds the price difference between organic and non-organic products acceptable. The research budget is one million euros, most of which is being spent on these discounts. The practical study is part of the Second on the Covenant Market development of Organic Agriculture [Tweede Convenant marktontwikkeling Biologische Landbouw]. The covenant parties’ aim is that Dutch consumer spending on food in 2007 will include a market share of five percent on organic products. ● Potatoworld 2006 7 Pagina 6

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