Ambassadors sought to promote potatoes

The Potato Council plans to recruit a team of nine "potato ambassadors" from different regions around the country to get involved in marketing activity and help reinforce its campaign messages.

Potato Council head of marketing and corporate affairs Caroline Evans said: "With research showing that consumers, particularly the younger generation, are eating fewer potatoes and increasingly opting for rice and pasta instead, it's vital that the industry fights back to protect the long-term future for potatoes.

"We need to act now to get the message across that potatoes are healthy, filling, versatile, easy to prepare and great value for money. And we're looking for growers and packers to help us do that."

She added: "We know growers and packers are busy people, but we're really not asking for too much of your time. We'd like to be able to call on you from time to time to speak to your local newspaper, for example. Or you could be asked to visit a local school to talk to children participating in the project.

"Alternatively, we might invite you to join us at shows or events in your region as we travel the country to spread the word about the benefits of potatoes."

Kent based farmer Matt Spanton has been at the forefront of a number of Potato Council campaigns and he recently took on the starring role in the Me for a Day life swap documentary for Love Potatoes. "It was an enjoyable experience and really worthwhile, as we spread the message to thousands of families," he said.

Spanton also appeared on TV shows such as BBC2's Economy Gastronomy to boost awareness for potatoes. "It doesn't take much time or effort, so lend your support and help make a difference," he added.

Potato Council board member and farmer Graham Nichols, from Tetbury in Gloucestershire, is an avid supporter of the Grow Your Own Potatoes project. He said: "It is important that the industry gets on board to help change the way children and their parents think about potatoes. After all, it is our business we're promoting."

All nine ambassadors will be media-trained so that they are comfortable talking to reporters and official press photographs will be taken on their farms. The team will also receive regular updates from the Potato Council to keep them informed of what their fellow ambassadors are up to.

To register your interest in becoming a potato ambassador or for more information, please call Ellie King on 024 7647 8775 or email eking@potato.org.uk.

 

National chip week

The Potato Council is encouraging growers and merchants to help promote National Chip Week on 15-21 February by advertising the campaign on potato sacks.

It has printed artwork for the sacks and labels for the event, which will be supported by a national media campaign and website www.lovechips.co.uk. To request the artwork, email Ellie King on eking@potato.org.uk.


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