Call made for more potato ambassadors to join campaign

At the BP2013 show, the Potato Council appealed for more growers to put themselves forward as potato ambassadors and to join its "One Voice" campaign to raise awareness of the industry and of the value of potatoes in people's diet.

In an initiative that began in 2010, potato ambassadors have to commit to the role for two years, with new recruits being sought for a May start this year.

Lancashire potato grower Robin Cropper, one of the original 10 ambassadors and still currently in the role, said: "People want to engage with food - they are more receptive than ever. Meanwhile, you are learning about what your customers want and expect, as well as raising the profile of your business."

Support from the Potato Council has been "fantastic", he added, and said of his own media appearances: "You become their go-to guy on potatoes from then on."

Cornwall grower and fellow ambassador Reuben Collins added: "To my surprise, people want to know about potatoes, but they aren't aware of the effort required to grow them. The older generation get it but the younger consumer tends not to have given it much thought - though they become interested. I was on Radio Cornwall and was amazed at how many people listened and responded."

The Potato Council is also urging growers to participate in its new One Voice consumer-awareness campaign through a range of channels. Head of marketing Caroline Evans said: " By keeping it simple and working together, it can have real impact, but we all need to give the same set of messages.

"If every grower puts up a car sticker or tweets a recipe, it multiplies the effect of what the Potato Council can do by itself. But if everyone tells their own story, the message gets lost."

She added: "It will take time, but that's been true of the best work we have done."

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