Potato body launched
TACKLING imports and boosting exports are key goals for the new British Potato Council, launched in London and Edinburgh earlier this week.
The new body, which replaces the PMB, hopes to increase potato consumption by 2% per annum, returning total consumption to the 112kg per head high seen three years ago.
Encouraging the catering sector to use more GB potato products will help. "Almost half potato consumption is through the catering industry and 700,000t of raw potato equivalent is currently imported by caterers. We want to replace that with GB material," said marketing director Ron Davies.
Ware exports, which were 140,000t last year, are also set to be boosted. The goal is 200,000t.
Seed exports could be increased by 50% from the current 40,000t, added Jim Cruickshank, chairman of the new BPC seed sector group, which replaces the old Scottish Seed Potato Development Council.
"Weve moved away from the opportunistic exports we used to see and now have a much more focused approach."
On the retail side, generic advertising, targeted at 18-28-year-old consumers, in particular, through womens magazines, will continue at about £1m a year.