TRADE AND MARKET I NG Closed potato market in Norway keeps the local potato chain afloat EUROPATAT CONGRESS Europatat congress dedicated to innovation and sustainability The Europatat congress, co-organised this year by NFGF, the Norwegian trade organisation for fruit and vegetable traders, took place in Oslo on 13 June. This year’s theme of the meeting was ‘The Timeless Potato: a Dynamic and Innovative Food’. In his opening speech, Gilles Fontaine, President of Europatat, emphasised that the congress is now a key event for the entire potato sector in Europe. ‘This edition demonstrates the growing importance of cooperation in a globalising market’, the chairman told the hundred European traders from 15 countries who were present. In the morning session, Marianne Borgen, Mayor of Oslo, emphasised the importance of sustainability in cultivation. The Norwegian potato trader and small packager Åsmund Bjertnæs, CEO of Bjertnæs & Hoel, showed how he can connect with consumers and educate young people to ensure a better place for the potato in the minds of future generaon the market at the moment, which means ware potato growers prefer to hold back seed potatoes from their consumption crops. If ware potato growers want to increase in acreage, they must have goodquality seed’, is the conviction of the potato specialist. High grade region Overhalla Klonavlssenter AS is also licensed as a seed potato grower and has a contract with approximately five seed potato growers for the production of prebase P3 and P4. Classes P3 and P4 are sold as starting material to all seed potato growers in Norway. In the area around Overhalla, there is hardly any cultivation of ware potatoes, which practically makes it a high-grade region. One of the seed potato growers in this area is Silia Engstad (34). She cultivates 6 hectares of generation three seed, which she grows for two years, after which it goes to the ware potato growers in the country. She tions. Borghild Glorvigen then told the Audience that the Norwegian potato sector has adopted the ’Imagine a World without Potatoes’ project, with the Norwegian name: ‘Tenk deg en verden uten poteter’. The aim of this worldwide project by the CIP international potato centre in Peru is to offer companies and organisations tools for positioning the potato in a more positive light. Glorvigen said she wants to share positive information with young consumers. During a big potato day on 2 October, she wants to create a lot of exposure around the potato. In addition, the Norwegian project group, in which some twenty companies and organisations participate, has launched a competition among growers in order to be able to communicate with consumers. ‘We’ve already received many positive reactions to our activities’, the project leader says enthusiastically. Changing times The afternoon session was opened with a keynote speech by Anita Krohn, Norwegian Business Executive winner of various interWe’ve already had many positive reactions to our ‘Tenk deg en verden uten poteter’ activities, says Borghild Glorvigen. national prizes, including ‘Best Female Leader in the ICT industry’. She gave an inspiring speech about how you can maintain leadership in changing times. As CEO of Innovation Norway, Krohn emphasised the importance of switching from management to leadership to accelerate the company, which is necessary to survive these challenging times. ‘We’ve noticed that the demand for mini tubers is increasing in the seed potato sector’, says Barlien. Potato World 2020 • number 1 27 Pagina 26

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