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Europatat looks back at a successful congress for the European potato sector

June 16, 2023

European Potato Trade Association Europatat reports that the 2023 edition of its annual congress has been a successful event for the European potato community. The association reports that over 100 participants from more than 14 different European and non-European countries took part in the Europatat Contress 2023, co-organised by the Polish Potato Federation.

Europatat comprises both national associations and individual companies involved in the trade of seed, ware and early potatoes throughout Europe. On June 5 and 6 their members gathered in Gdańsk, Poland. Under the slogan “The Changing Geopolitical Landscape and the Future for Potato Trade”, this year’s event focused on the impact of current geopolitics for international agri-food trade and the effect of EU’s Green Deal’s goals and new consumption trends for the potato sector inside and outside Europe.

Latest market data

Europatat reports that its members reviewed the different activities of the association during the meetings of its five Commissions (consumption potatoes, seed potatoes, sustainability, technical and regulatory issues, and RUCIP) on Monday June 5th. External speaker Cedric Porter from the World Potato Markets elaborated on the latest potato market data, and Albert Schirring from Bayer presented the results of a study on glycoalkaloids. Other topics covered during the internal meetings were related to export markets, wireworms, quality requirements, packaging, green claims, et cetera. On Tuesday June 6th, the annual meeting of the association’s General Assembly took place, during which Europatat members had the opportunity to hear from guest speaker Blair Richardson, CEO of Potatoes USA. He shared insights on how the potato sector is organised in the United States of America and the work on nutrition research and promotion that is being done by his organisation in cooperation with the Alliance for Potato Research & Education (APRE).

Important market for potatoes

The public session of the congress was opened by the Undersecretary of State of the Polish Ministry Agriculture and Rural Development, Krzysztof Ciecióra. He emphasized the importance of potatoes for millions of people worldwide and the role of the European and Polish sector in that task. Tomasz Bieńkowski, President of the Polish Potato Federation, highlighted that Poland is currently the second largest producer of potatoes in the EU and the potato industry has a significant share in Polish food production, which annual turnover reaches several billion zlotys. The President of Europatat, Tigran Richter, pointed out the importance of the Polish market for potatoes.

New consumption trends

The keynote speaker of the public congress, food expert and chef Grzegorz Łapanowski, spoke about the potential of potatoes in relation to new consumption trends. He is of the opinion that the potato sector needs to change its way of communicating towards consumers by creating a brand, increasing consumer knowledge and focusing on quality.

Changing geopolitical landscape

A panel discussed how both the changing geopolitical landscape and new political priorities at European and national level are affecting agri-food trade in general, and potato trade in particular. 

Furthermore, a panel composed of Mykola Gordiichuk, Vice-President of the Ukrainian Potato Growers Association, Geoffroy d’Evry, President of the North European Potatoes Growers (NEPG) and Union Nationale des Producteurs de Pommes de Terre (UNPT), Jörg Renatus, Managing Director of Europlant International, and Jarosław Wańkowicz, Supply Chain Director at Farm Frites Poland SA, discussed how both the changing geopolitical landscape and new political priorities at European and national level are affecting agri-food trade in general, and potato trade in particular. The panel members agreed on the statement that there is a gap between ideology and reality, and therefore, new agricultural technologies including New Breeding Techniques (NBTs) and global, regional and local partnerships are needed more than ever.


Europatat Secretary General Berta Redondo Benito was in charge of closing the Europatat Congress 2023 and concluded that in challenging times for the potato trade, communication with consumers, the society and other parts of the supply chain, as well as cooperation through partnerships, are key for the future of the sector. She invited participants to join next year’s Europatat Congress in Brussels on May 23 and 24, 2024.


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