IFA President Eddie Downey has called on consumers and retailers to support National Potato Day (NPD) this Friday 2nd October. The Irish potato industry is an important indigenous industry worth €80m at farm gate, with 500 growers planting over 9,000 hectares annually.
Marking National Potato Day, Eddie Downey urged retailers to recognise the massive investments potato growers have made in machinery and cold storage to ensure a continuous twelve-month supply of Irish product. “Growers deserve a viable price. Potatoes must be sold as a premium product and not be used in practices such as below-cost selling. We cannot see a repeat of the poor farm gate prices witnessed the last two seasons.”
This year’s NPD marks the start of a €1m, three-year promotion campaign by Bord Bia designed to address the fall in fresh potato consumption over the last 12 years and signal the health benefits of the potato.
IFA Potato Chairman Eddie Doyle said, “The potato is an important domestic crop, synonymous with Irish agriculture, and has very important health benefits. There is more Vitamin C in a potato than there is in an orange, more fibre than an apple, and more potassium than in a banana. The potato also has over 60 phytochemicals that can help you fight illness and is also gluten free.”
This year we have the lowest plantings of potatoes on record, 10% less than 2014 and 22% less over the last two years. Coupled with reductions in plantings across Europe and below average yields in most countries, there will be no over-supply of the market this year.
Events will run around the country on National Potato day, including farm visits organised by IFA members. Check www.potato.ie for more information on events; a variety of delicious recipes; and, to find out about the health and nutrition benefits of potatoes.
National Potato Day is a joint initiative of Bord Bia, IFA, and the Irish Potato Federation.
List of activities for National Potato Day 2015.
|Joe and Paul Finnegan
Bellew,Balrath,Navan, Co. Meath
|086 2537026||Farm walk for local school|
|John Carroll, Paughanstown, Dunleer, Co. Louth.||086 2489212||Inviting local school to see potato harvesting. Talk on growing potatoes.
Cooking and sampling of Potato varieties.
|087 6876293||Inviting local school on the Friday to see packing operations etc and will be giving free sample bags.|
|086 2464018||Cooking demonstrations and tastings in Centra shop Carlanstown, Co. Meath. Running from 9am to 6pm on Friday.Also free raffle every hour for potato packs.|
|Con & Nora Sheehan Lisnagourneen, Castletownroche,
|087 6534787||Farm visit from pupils of local schools. Field and Yard tour. Theme of day is ‘Versatile Spud’ with tastings available and samples|
|Slaney Farm Produce Ltd, Tomnalosset
|087 2759266||Potato tastings at Tesco’s in Gorey and Wexford town organised by Slaney’s farm. Farm walk for local school on the home farm
|Tastings in local Supermarkets|
|Gerry Finnegan||086 2694126||Street stall in Drogheda, Co. Louth|