Multiple goals set in Potato Council's five-year strategy

Potato Council has published a Research & Innovation Strategy for the next five years, aiming to build the UK's share of the domestic market in seed, meet consumer requirements for affordable potatoes and exploit export markets for products and technologies.

Potatoes: high proportion of production aimed at the fresh market. Credit: Mark Peate
Potatoes: high proportion of production aimed at the fresh market. Credit: Mark Peate

Head of research and development Dr Mike Storey said: "Consumers' needs are front and centre of all new project investments. Potato Council has a commitment to improve the production of potatoes, to assist the industry in promoting potatoes and to protect the reputation of the sector."

The council spends £1.2m a year on research, part of a total research and development programme for the sector worth £15m.

NFU Scotland potatoes working group chairman Russell Brown said: "We welcome the change in emphasis in funding for research and development and promotion, and recognise the need to rejuvenate the 'One Voice' campaign."

The union's president Allan Bowie told a Potato Council meeting last month: "Potatoes' share of agricultural output is three times higher in Scotland than in England, with a high proportion of our production aimed at the fresh market, where demand has been falling.

"We don't have enough processing capacity to take full advantage of the shift in consumption towards processed potato products. More needs to be done to reverse falling fresh potato consumption. Retailers must improve how they present potatoes."


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