After editions in China and Peru, the World Potato Congress (WPC) will take place in Europe again this year.
In order to give an impression of what exactly the Irish potato sector encompasses, PotatoWorld magazine travelled to the country last year. Conversations with people from potato companies as well as with their consumers underline the feeling that Ireland is a country where the potato is in the DNA of the population. Visit this link to download our exclusive preview.
Dublin, both the largest city and the capital of Ireland, will be the centre of information exchange within the global potato industry from May 30 to June 2nd, 2022. Potato professionals from all over the world can meet each other and get to know the Irish potato industry during the upcoming edition of the WPC.
‘Many of the costs related to the potato value chain, from cultivation to transport, keep rising. One may wonder if and when this is going to stop’, Liam Glennon, chairman of the Irish organising committee, tells us. ‘Come to the World Potato Congress in Ireland, and you just might find out. A panel of over 60 speakers representing the seed, fresh table and processed potato sectors from 20 different countries will discuss not only rising costs, but also hot topics like sustainability, climate change, the decreasing range of plant protection products, smart farming and smart supermarkets’, he adds. The WPC emphasis will be on potato production as a business and how to improve your bottom line. ‘During the week, Congress delegates will have open access to the brightest and best of Ireland’s potato industry in the form of technical tours’, Glennon enthuses.
Lorcan Bourke, Fresh Produce & Potato Manager for Irish promotional body Bord Bia, sees the WPC as a means to promote the role of potatoes in initiating food security in developing countries. ‘We have been active in this field for years, together with the Irish business community and local NGO Vita. Ireland also supports the WPC initiative to launch an International Potato Day on May 30 and we are delighted that Dr Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, will deliver a keynote speech,’ Bourke emphasizes.
Chairman Glennon announced that the WPC Congress theme this year is ‘The changing world of the Potato’, with five central sub-themes: Business, Innovation and research, Health and nutrition, Development and Sustainability. ‘In this rapidly changing world, where the costs within the potato value chain are constantly rising, it is important to keep filling the consumers’ plates with potatoes. An important goal of WPC 2022 is to inspire people to consume more potatoes. It is important to emphasize the health and nutritional value of the tubers. Professor Katherine Beals will give a fascinating introduction to this subject. Another important trend is sustainability and speakers will highlight new developments in this area, such as the Green Deal and the Farm to Fork strategy. Obviously, innovation will be an important subject too, with Professor Damien McLoughlin for example presenting the new concept of the Smart Supermarket and indicating what the potato sector can learn from this’, Glennon names some of the many speakers and topics visitors of the congress may expect. An up-to-date program can be found on the WPC 2022 website.
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