TRADE AND MARKET I NG Ambitious lobby full of ‘Potatobility’ rolled out for the Dutch edition of WPC 2021 Marcel van Dam, demissionary State Secretary of Economic Affairs, has also underlined the importance of the 2021 WPC for the Netherlands with a personal contribution in the Bid Book. NAO, the Municipality of Noordoostpolder and the AgroFoodCluster members decided to embrace the plan and we then looked for expansion. This was found, among other things, in the Province of Flevoland, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and Wageningen University. All executive managers have written and signed a credential, among which Marcel van Dam, demissionary State Secretary of Economic Affairs, and Louise Fresco, President of Wageningen University & Research. Jointly, our host group consists of 200 committed public and private organisations. That is how you create body’, laughs De Bruin. Double the number of participants expected ‘Another question is: why do you organise this event at this location? Jaap Delleman has already summed up the arguments for this location above. There’ll be another PotatoEurope in 2021, and also a regional Potato Festival and what could be better than if the WPC could join in. The WPC is a five-day event that includes a congress and various outings in the country where the happening takes place. What could be more fantastic for the participants who come from all over the world than to be able to drop in on PotatoEurope and the Potato Festival as well? Moreover, we think that this combination of happenings will attract more participants. Normally, six hundred to eight hundred partners in the sector take part in the WPC. We think that we could attract double that number, especially because PotatoEurope already draws over 15,000 visitors from Europe and the rest of the world. It will be easier to motivate some of that number to take part in the WPC because they’re already coming to Emmeloord anyway’, is Van Veldhuijsen’s firm belief. Naturally, the organisation lays down strict requirements and guarantees in respect of the event’s funding. ‘And that has also been arranged’, De Bruin is pleased to say. Potatobility as umbrella title In order to stand out even more between the other Bid Book compilers, in close cooperation with the chain partners, De Bruin, Van Veldhuijsen and Delleman have invented the term and title Potatobility. You could describe it as the gravy on the potato. This is a noun that will span the potato event like an umbrella and will incorporate all that’s involved in the cultivation, trade, marketing, research and education around this crop. The Bid Book explains that all the valuable dimensions of the potato can be summarised in this one word, and includes terms such as sustainability, health, profitable business opportunities for crop farmers, and food safety. ‘What the people in the sector sometimes forget to specify and fail to emphasise adequately, is the future importance of the potato for the world’s food supply. What we’re talking about here is an ideal crop with which we can supply the 10 billion people in the year 2050 with a healthy basic food. It’s important that we tell this to the world, and this is also what we want to achieve during the 2021 WPC. We want to present a wide range of topics under one umbrella. This means nothing is isolated. We intend to connect all the various topics, which will lead to one totality of acquired knowledge, and this is what we’ve compounded in the term Potatobility. Participants can be confident that they’ll go home well-informed and inspired after the 2021 WPC. We’re going to ensure that visitors will leave Emmeloord as true potato ambassadors. That’s what we’re aiming for’, is how Delleman puts it in a nutshell. It will not be an exclusively Dutch party in his opinion, but a world assembly. ‘Experts from a variety of countries and disciplines in the potato sector will contribute to the WPC Congress, as is usual in every WPC edition. The programme will be interesting for every single participant who has an interest in the sector. Growers, traders, suppliers, manufacturers, researchers, teachers, policymakers and politicians, they will all find what they are looking for. The first contacts with potential speakers have been made and, so far, their reactions are all positive and enthusiastic. Logistics are well organised ‘We have also given an indication in the Bid Book of what type of accommodation is available in the region and its accessibility during the 2021 WPC’, De Bruin adds. ‘Compared to many other countries, the logistics in the Netherlands are, of course, very well organised. Nowhere in the world are there so many agricultural enterprises plus conference centres and hotels at such short distances as we have in this country. Emmeloord alone already has its own conference centre available, which is situated at a stone’s throw from the PotatoEurope and Potato Festival events. Hotels, and businesses in the potato sector, are also within easy reach.’ We now have to wait for the decision of the Board. ‘A decision on which country will be allowed to organise the WPC will be taken in December 2017. If we’re elected then, we can start the preparations for a presentation at the 2018 WPC in Peru. We have great hopes that we’ll succeed. Strong arguments to our advantage are the large network we can draw from, the various other events such as PotatoEurope and the Potato Festival that we can easily link to the 2021 WPC, and the excellent accommodation close by. This should mean a 99.9 percent chance of success’, Van Veldhuijsen concludes with a big smile. ● Leo Hanse Potato World 2017 • number 3 27 Pagina 30

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