Potato growers team up to increase sales

Ten potato growers from across the UK have been recruited by the Potato Council to act as "potato ambassadors" who will aim to increase consumption and sales across the UK.

The team was unveiled by the Potato Council last week at a potato "masterclass" in London's L'atelier des Chefs.

The event, which heralded the new season crop and demonstrated the many virtues of potatoes, was attended by celebrity chef Sanjay Dwivedi, who demonstrated easy-to-cook dishes including Chinese five-spice potato and chicken salad and quick potato and fish salad.

Scottish representative and Potato Council chairman Allan Stevenson said: "Consumers, eating habits are changing. Faced with more food choices, less time and less knowledge, younger consumers in particular enjoy a wider range of carbohydrates, which presents a challenge to potatoes.

"Versatility, convenience and natural healthiness are strong messages to encourage more people to cook and eat potatoes, but sustainability and local produce are also generating more interest than ever before. That's why we believe the people at the very heart of the industry, potato growers themselves, are ideally placed to showcase why potatoes should be a regular choice for every shopper."

The potato ambassadors will be involved in all aspects of Potato Council marketing activity from talking to media to attending shows and engaging with consumers directly either online, on farms or in shopping centres.

They will also play an integral role in the Potato Council's schools project Grow Your Own Potatoes, which educates youngsters about how potatoes grow.

Yorkshire potato grower and ambassador Ben Sykes said: "I'm delighted to be part of the team.

It is really important that we all take responsibility for the future and work together to ensure that potatoes continue to enjoy healthy demand.

He continued: "Simple health messages and recipe ideas that we've learnt today from Sanjay are easy to pass on and if they make more people think differently about potatoes then it is certainly worthwhile."

- South West Reuben Collins
- South Nick Baird, Funtington
- South East Matt Spanton, Faversham
- East of England Tim Briscoe, Norfolk
- Central England Andrea Adams
- Wales Walter Simon, Pembrokeshire
- North West Ben Sykes, Tadcaster
- North Robin Cropper, Ormskirk
- North East Anthony Carroll, Northumbria
- Scotland Allan Stevenson, East Lothian

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