IFA President Joe Healy has called on consumers and retailers to support National Potato Day.
He said the Irish potato industry is an important indigenous sector worth €80m at farm gate. 500 growers plant over 9,000 hectares annually.
Marking National Potato Day, Joe Healy urged retailers to recognise the considerable extra expense and effort which potato growers have gone through this year in order to provide a quality Irish product for the consumer. “This summer was the driest on record in parts of the country and with the combination of the lowest acreage ever planted, it has resulted in a 40% reduction in production.”
IFA Potato Chairman Thomas McKeown asked consumers to choose Irish potatoes ahead of other imported produce. He said that in addition to making a healthy food choice, they would also be supporting vital jobs in the rural economy. He also asked the hotel and catering sectors to check that their suppliers are sourcing Irish produce.
The theme for this year’s National Potato Day organised by Bord Bia is “Imagine a world without potatoes”. The initiative calls on consumers to appreciate the role potatoes have worldwide in providing employment, nourishment and food security.
Promotional events will run around the country today, including farm visits and supermarket tastings organised by IFA members. The main event will be the first ever Rooster festival in Teagasc Oakpark,Co.Carlow.
Check www.potato.ie for more information on events, delicious recipes and to find out about the health and nutritional benefits of potatoes.