Potato World vision PW-ACTUA Invest in marketing What is a potato? Is it the crop that fed the world in times of hunger? Is it the tuber that can suit any climate? Is it the crop that can yield more nutrients per hectare than any other? Is it the basis of a global industry that reaches nearly every country on Earth? Or is the potato something that we take for granted. The stuff of fattening fries and boring menus. Of stereotypes and lack of imagination. After many months trying to understand the global potato industry I can begin to suggest an answer. The potato is amazing. It has reduced poverty in China. It has fed the hungry in Africa. It has fueled development in Latin America. It gives pleasure and sustenance to millions, no, billions, around the world. It is the stuff of legend and more importantly, the crop of the future. One of the tasks of the International Potato Center is to promote the potato. I have tried with the campaign ‘Imagine a World Without Potatoes’. We have to start by reminding consumers what the potato has meant to humanity. We need to make them care. Through the campaign what I have found is that the entire potato sector needs to pay more attention to the desires of consumers. Be proud of your product. It is not fattening. It is not just starch. It is not boring. It is joy and nutrition. It is pleasure and health. It is the memory of a perfect meal and the promise of a future without hunger. It is time to realize the full potential of the potato and it’s amazing biodiversity. I have one message: Invest in marketing, invest in understanding what drives consumers, invest in overcoming stereotypes, invest in correcting misguided perceptions. INNOVATE. The potato has given you many benefits. It’s now time to help the rest of the world understand why it is such a wonderful gift from nature. ● Marc de Beaufort Imagine a World Without Potatoes, CIP Market uncertainty fails to dampen international outlook at BP2019 No one seems ready to call whether the BP2019 show in Harrogate, UK, this November will be following hard on the heels of Britain’s departure from the EU, or whether the whole issue will still be rolling on. But what’s abundantly clear is the potato industry is doing what it always does and looking to get business done, says show organiser Steve Wellbeloved. “This will be the largest British Potato show yet and, as always, will be showcasing large numbers of companies with new goods and services they’d like to market in mainland Europe, as well those from further afield looking to develop or secure the business they currently do into the UK,” he says. “Indeed, a look at the numerous first-time exhibitors, confirms the determination to develop and maintain trade whatever the political and regulatory framework that will finally emerge.” New interest such as this accounts for the exhibition halls having been completely sold out for some months, while limited outdoor space remains available. Visitor registrations are also following the exhibitor pattern, says Wellbeloved. “Of course, it’s early days for visitor tickets, but we are already seeing the usual wide range of countries represented. We also anticipate that the UK Government’s focus on opening up new global markets may see delegations from an even wider range of emerging markets than has previously been the case. For many years now significant numbers of visitors have made long trips to British Potato events, despite having very large potato-specific events closer to home. Part of that obviously reflects the UK’s reputation for innovation, but our surveys also tell us that many see the whole-industry focus of the event as a draw. Quite a few very good potato shows around the world are mainly focussed on potato production. The British Potato event had similar origins – in fact starting life as mainly a harvesting demonstration, before expanding to cover agronomic inputs in general. However, from 2003 onwards the UK show started to widen its scope following potatoes all the way from breeding, through to all aspects of the post-farm business including handling, packaging and presentation. So one of the unique features of the event is that as you wander the aisles, you’re as likely to encounter an expert in retail presentation, or hydro-cutting technology for the perfect chip, as you are a scientist specialising in trait selection or looking to deploy novel technologies to tackle a particular pest or disease. The whole-supply chain approach is a distinction that has grown show by show over the last 15 years and continues for 2019 – where one in five exhibitors are new to the show and, of these, half are primarily focused on technology beyond the point of harvest,” he says. ● Potato World 2019 • number 3 9 Pagina 8

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